Joan Miró: at home in exile | Art and design | The Guardian
The exhibition Picasso and Miró, The Flesh and the Spirit brings together, for an encounter between two of the great masters, Picasso and Miró. in order to highlight the relationship between the Malaga-born artist and the. Miró had none of Picasso's prodigious and precocious talent. He had many friends, but, despite a connection with the surrealists, he was a. Picasso and Miró's final works offer a unique insight into the twilight of sign, as a paradox of the relationship bet- artist's relationship with poetry and wri-.
He was, from an early age, more interested in pure colour and structure than in representation. In any case, he could not make academic drawings. Thus when he began to study art in the Llotja, where Picasso had studied, he was not encouraged to stay.
Picasso and Miró, The Flesh and the Spirit - Fundación MAPFRE
At the age of 17, under pressure from his parents, he began work as a clerk; he toiled in an office six days a week from eight in the morning until nine in the evening, and after a year suffered a kind of breakdown. He was, and indeed remains, an easy figure to misread.
He seemed shy and timid, but he possessed a deeply uncompromising spirit. His work may seem apolitical and pure, but he remained all his life a fervent Catalan his notebooks are in Catalan or French, but not in Spanishand he made his left-wing sympathies clear during the Spanish civil war and under the Franco regime.
He had many friends, but, despite a connection with the surrealists, he was a member of no group, and remained a deeply independent figure. He still could not draw, could not, in his own words, tell the difference between a curved line and a straight line. He became aware, however, that the real world was elsewhere, that there were no cubists or constructivists or surrealists working in Barcelona, that most contemporary art displayed in the city was old-fashioned and dull; he was indignant when an abstract painting by a friend was publicly mocked.
He came to see Barcelona as philistine and confining, and, like Catalan artists of previous generations, he began to dream of Paris. By the time he did so, Picasso had left. Despite his shyness he became friendly with Francis Picabia, one of the leaders of the dada movement who had taken refuge in Barcelona during the war, but Picabia merely whetted his appetite to leave. The older painter introduced him to dealers in Paris, talked about his work and bought paintings from him.
He was so excited by the place, indeed, that at first he could do no work. Just as the atmosphere in Paris would come as a shock to his system, so too this house and the landscape around it, filled with olive groves and with jagged red rock, where he was left at peace to draw and paint, had an enormous impact.
He did a number of famous early paintings of the buildings which made up his parents' holding, including The Farm. But he was interested too in the smallest aspects of nature, how grass and trees grew, in the animals and farm implements, in the light from the sea, and how certain local villages in the area were configured.
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Mont-roig became a refuge for him from Barcelona; and, once he was in Paris, it also became his refuge from the fierce sensations which that city offered him. Soon it was a refuge, too, from a group of associates there, including some painters, and writers such as Hemingway, with whom he sparred in the boxing ring.
InHemingway bought the painting The Farm from him. Some of his signature images and hieroglyphics, he later said, were also brought on by the hallucinations caused by hunger. At times, when money ran out and his work did not sell, he returned to the family apartment on Passeig del Credit, where he worked in an upstairs studio.
In he married Pilar Juncosa, who came from a cultured Mallorcan family; in their only child, Dolors, was born.
Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro
Inas the Franco regime began to liberalise somewhat, he was finally given a retrospective, which took place in the Hospital de la Santa Creu in Barcelona. He had taken so much of his inspiration from Catalonia.
Now at last he was back in his own city. Its very whiteness seems to breathe in the light.
Joan Miró: A life in paintings | Art and design | The Guardian
He was in the final year of his national service as a soldier; Spain was not involved in the first world war, and he was frustrated that the fighting in France had put his ambitions to enlist in the Parisian avant garde on hold.
After a period of depression, he had given up on the career in business that his father had planned for him, and had spent the previous four years, when not in uniform, painting full-time; he had that premature, year-old's sense that life was already passing him by.
The presence in his painting of the journal Nord-Sud — founded in Paris that year by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire among others — hints both at this anxiety, and at a solidarity with the ideals of freedom the magazine represented.
The caged bird behind it is faced with an open door, but has not yet flown: Impressionism was dead, he suggested: Down with all that, made by crybabies! The scissors are open ready for him to cut ties with the past and present, with Catalonia represented in the characteristic vaseand with Goethe-esque rites of passage.
But his hopes of finding that new style, that new way of painting seemed to be beyond him, and to the north. I am afraid that he will get a fright unless he realises that life in Paris is expensive if he does not manage to go there with a good monthly allowance I am definitely going at the end of November. You have to go there as a fighter and not as a spectator of the fight if you want to do anything Sud had found his way Nord.
It was where he learned to look at the natural world. Because he was working so hard on the painting during the day he took to boxing in the evening at a local gym as a way of relaxing. Among his sparring partners was Hemingway.
Hemingway was determined to buy The Farm. On the final day he trawled around every bar he knew in Paris, with his friend John Dos Passos, borrowing cash, and eventually raised the funds.
No one else has been able to paint those two opposing things. The starting point is absolutely irrational, sudden and unconscious: I start off blindly He was in search of the essence of things. In The Hunter, his Catalan peasant alter ego is captured simultaneously in the act of shooting a rabbit for his cooking pot and fishing for a sardine for his barbecue.
This is a barretina, the Spanish peasant headdress… And the man's heart, entrails and sexual organs. I've shown the Toulouse-Rabat airplane on the left; it used to fly past our house once a week. In the painting I showed it by a propellor, a ladder and the French and Catalan flags. You can see the Paris-Barcelona axis again, and the ladder, which fascinated me.
A sea and one boat in the distance, and in the very foreground, a sardine with tail and whiskers gobbling up a fly. A broiler waiting for the rabbit, flames and a pimento on the right When he returned to the city inthough, now married and a father, he carried a sense of foreboding about the state of Spain and Europe: The margins of his sketchbooks are populated with visions of nightmarish couplings and weirdly erotic subhuman bodies.
He had a sense of himself as prophetic in some way, and was troubled by these portents. The outbreak of civil war in Spain and the rise of fascism across Europe confirmed his worst fears. He contributed images for propaganda posters, the raised fist of the Catalan peasant, for the republican cause. He felt he had to begin again from first principles.
He came across a gin bottle in the street, brought it home to his apartment, and began to paint a still life, which quickly took on the atmosphere of his apocalyptic anxieties. The painting took him five months to complete from January