Tuesday, 3 November 2015

What if? Metropolis-Artist: Joan Miró

Joan Miró was a Spanish Surrealist artist who was born on the 20th April 1893 in Barcelona. He started drawing in school back in 1900, taking private lessons wit Señor Civil. In 1907 he went on to learn at a business college as well as taking lessons at a fine arts academy in La Lonja, Picasso had visited the academy back in 1895. His teachers were Modest Urgell and Josep Pascó.
Many of his early pieces, from 1912-1920, where still lifes and landscapes influenced by his everyday environment of his parent's summer house in Montroig, while he was recovering from a typhoid fever after suffering from a nervous breakdown. During this time he also started to experiment with producing paintings while blindfolded and also with oil paints. He also met Ricart when he attended Gali's school of Arts. At this time he was painting life drawings of nude subjects using charcoals and chalks.  By 1919, Cubism was beginning to become evident in his works, such as "Nude in the Mirror" and "Self Portrait" which Picasso purchased for his collection.
He went to Paris, where he met and got influenced by loads of other artists through the help of Art Dealer, Josep Dalmau, staying in France from 1920-1929 before marrying his wife, Pilar and decided to stay in Paris for good.  Symbolism was beginning to become present in his work in 1923, such as the sun, stars, black solid circles and a bright use of colours. In 1930 he began to experiment even futher with his style, working in other media, building sculptures. His second Self Portrait from 1937 shows his change of style, as it became looser but more symbolic and immersing.
In 1938, his works became more bizarre as he began to be influenced by music and he started his constellation period. In 1949, he discovered ceramics and decorating terracottas.
In 1956 he made his final move, after moving to and through from Paris and Barcelona, to Palma de Mallorca, where the architect, Sert, built his studio house "Sons Abriñes". Two years later he finished the ceramic walls for the UNESCO building in Paris, which was a joint effort between him and his good friend, Artigas from 1955. From this, he received the Grand Award of the Guggenheim Foundation in 1959.
In 1968, a large scale exhibition of his work, named "Year of Miró" took place, where Sert designed, commissioned by the city of Barcelona, and built a musuem for the artist, featuring 40 paintings by him. From this point on he continued to go on trips to America and other places in Europe to show his works in big exhibitions. The year of his 90th birthday, 1983, was celebrated with exhibitions worldwide, however, Miró health was also declining, leading to his death on the 25th of December the same year.
He wasn't just a painter, he designed sets for ballet, painted ceramics, sculptures, engravings, ceramic panels for buildings. Throughout his career he developed many different styles from simple paintings to cubism, from surrealism to ceramics and sculptures. Many of his works were based on childhood memories, of Tarrogana, his Father's hometown, which was a rough, wild city, where it's dream-like setting helped with the production of many of his works. While some of his paintings gave off a sort of caveman like feel, through the use of symbolism and colours he was able to give any painting of his a more poetic and indepth feel, even if it was just from the title he gave it. His Father influenced him through his work and his workspace, as he cleaned his brushes and left his studio clean just like an engineer's workshop. Also, the way he used colours in his pieces, the mixture of bold colours contrasting to solid blacks makes the majority of his pieces stand out. Even in his early days, his use of colours were free flowing and bold but still had a technical reason as to why he placed that colour where he placed it.
"Miró could not paint a spot without it falling in the right place" Miró by Twentieth- Century Masters page 46

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