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Joan Miró

Joan Miró

(1893 - 1983)
Born: Montroig, Spain
Style: Surrealism
Famous Works:
  • The Farm (1921-22)
  • Harlequin's Carnival (1924-25)
  • Woman Encircled by the Flight of a Bird (1941)
Joan Miró took his first art classes at only seven years old, and went on to study at the Saint Lluc Artists' Circle in Barcelona, contrary to his father's wishes. To appease his father, Miró also attended business school, and secured work as a clerk during his teenage years. As it turned out, Miró loathed his job, suffered extreme depression and eventually, a nervous breakdown. The young artist was very productive during his recovery; taking inspiration from the Post-Impressionists, Miró filled his canvases with bright, expressive colors, drawing comparisons to the Fauves. Miró had a controversial solo show in 1918, where he faced derision for his bold, untraditional style. In 1920, Paris was at the center of the drastically changing art world; the Fauves were laying the foundation for the Surrealist movement, and there was an abundance of young, radical artistic talent in the city. Miró moved to Paris where he met several artists, including Paul Éluard and André Masson. At this point, Miró's paintings retained influence from the Fauves, but also contained evidence of his profound connection to his Spanish home, where he still spent time when not in Paris. This incorporation of influences is clear in Miró's The Farm, which was purchased by Ernest Hemingway. The next stage of Miró's career, beginning in the mid-1920s, was a marked shift toward surrealism. Present still were the nostalgic symbols, but gone was obvious representation, replaced by abstraction on bold fields of color. These minimalistic works came to be known as his dream paintings. Miró's style was in a continuous state of evolution, the artist always experimenting with new techniques, compositional philosophies, and even materials. First introduced to the New York art scene in 1931, Miró would go on to achieve considerable recognition in the city, even accepting a commission to complete a tapestry for the World Trade Center in 1974. Joan Miró's painted canvases would have been enough to secure his place among the modern masters, but his tapestries, ceramics, sculptures, and large public works, characterized by constant experimentation, place him in a class of his own.
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