Having experienced the phenomenal Miró exhibition @ the Tate Modern 14th April- 11th September 2011, Margaret Adeagbo gives us her rundown of how to blag your way through the wondrous world of Miro…
Joan Miró (1893-1983) was a Spanish artist, who following the impressionists before him, sought to challenge the status quo of the art world. The name Miró is most certainly synonymous with the cultural movement of Surrealism which begun in the early 1920s. He was heavily influenced by the Avant-garde cubist movement, as well as the great masters such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne; all of this adds to the impossibility of pigeonholing an artist such as Miró into any category. His work spans across many decades and genres as he refused to be defined by any artistic movements. His artistic talent did not stop in the niche of surrealism. Miró also indulged in the pursuits of Sculpture and ceramics. His earlier paintings were somewhat more realistic which is exemplified in his famous piece The Farm, a painting of his families’ Spanish farm.
One of Miró’s chief attributes is his great use of colour; like many surrealist painters, he uses large brush strokes and ambiguous images that flow freely into each other. Spanish influences are readily identifiable in his work as well as a distinctive modernist theme. Colour is the hallmark of his artistic temperament. He also heavily uses language symbols to reflect his ideology and political thinking, and national identity is pervasive in his work which harks back to his Catalan heritage. Furthermore, Miró reacts to tempestuous European history within his work; the Spanish Civil war in particular profoundly influenced his art.
Miró is somewhat of an enigma; he is a creator of intensively ethereal, intangible art that goes beyond the bounds of human imagination and subverts everyday forms.
Image- Joan Miró Still Life with Old Shoe 1937 Museum of Modern Art, New York © Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011