Modern Art - Joan Miro

Joan Miro

Born in Spain near Barcelona, Joan Miro was one of the greatest Surrealistic painters of the twentieth century. Miro's first independent paintings, executed in 1916 - 1918, show the influences of both Cezanne and Van Gogh. But Miro was also beginning to admire fellow contemporary artists, Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Miro absorbed the lessons of flattening large areas of color and pattern and controlling and distorting his picture plane. Miro's personality emerges early in his painting, presenting scenes of humor and fantasy with a dead-pan realism. Until 1942, Miro continued to paint in a primitive, geometric style of Realism.

In a group of paintings done in 1923-1924, however, Joan Miro formed his own personal vocabulary of painting. His work became marvelous and entered the realm of fantasy. Miro was able to paint vividly his unreal world. All his animals, humans, and even the inanimate objects are rendered as flat, abstract, biomorphic shapes, but they have a playful vitality that makes them both real and accessible to his viewers.

Beginning in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Miro began to experiment with collage and assemblage and began a move toward abstraction. He was viewed as the leader of the organic-abstract wing of Surrealism. By the 1960s, Miro's work was becoming influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists, who earlier had been influenced by his work. The mural-sized painting of "Bleu II" is an almost pure example of Color Field painting