Joan Miró Spain, 1893-1983

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Biography

Joan Miro (b. 1893, Barcelona, Spain; d. 1983, Palma, Spain) was a Catalan painter, sculptor, ceramist, and printmaker. Arriving in Paris in 1920, he met fellow Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, and shortly encountered the ideas of the Surrealists and their leader, André Breton. Miró ultimately joined the group in 1924, and not long after that, his studio became a gathering place for members of the Parisian avant-garde, including André Masson, Max Ernst, and Jean Dubuffet, among others. According to Miró, traditional representational painting supported the bourgeoisie, and as such, he strove to reinvent the medium. Inspired by the Surrealist practice of automatism, in which art is created directly from the artist’s subconscious without explicit intention, Miró produced organic, abstract shapes that emanated from his imagination. By combining these arrangements with recognizable objects such as crescent moons, dogs, and ladders, Miró was able to develop a signature symbolic language which he employed across a range of media. Having achieved international acclaim, Miró received the Guggenheim International Award in 1958, an honorary doctorate from Harvard in 1968, the Spanish Gold Medal for Fine Arts in 1980, and was the subject of several major retrospectives in his lifetime. His work is held in major institutional collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid.

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