Sunday, September 14, 2014
The Nasher Museum presents a rare glimpse at the later works of Spanish-born artist Joan Mirό (1893-1983), one of the greatest innovators of 20th-century art in Europe. A contemporary of Picasso as well as a fellow Catalan, Mirό was briefly aligned with the Surrealists in the late 1920s in Paris and went on to create a phenomenal pictorial and sculptural universe throughout his six-decade career. Showcasing works of art exclusively drawn from the last 20 years of the artist’s life, Mirό: The Experience of Seeing will bring an extensive and illuminating body of Miró’s work to North Carolina for the first time. Paintings, sculptures and drawings will travel from Spain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (Museo Reina Sofía).
Miró lived in Paris from 1920 until 1932, regularly traveling back to Spain until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 prevented his return home. He had become known for his dream-like paintings with a personal system of signs and symbols; once war broke out he introduced overtly political commentary into his work. Miró consistently exercised his personal freedom in his work, which in the face of political turmoil is infused with irony and anger as much as joy and tenderness. In 1940, after the war ended, Miró returned to Spain. Brilliantly inventive, the artist continually pushed the boundaries of art and had a surge of creative ideas in the decades following World War II, when he embraced entirely new techniques and media. In 1956 Miró moved to a new studio on Mallorca, where for the first time he could gather together the entirety of his production. This gave him direct access to all of his works and allowed him to take stock of the artistic achievements of four decades. He was particularly engaged by the relationship between painting and sculpture, which had not been at the center of his earliest work.
Miró: The Experience of Seeing is comprised entirely of works created between 1963 and the artist’s death in 1983, all of which come from the collection of the Museo Reina Sofía. These later works distill the styles, subjects and motifs of Miró’s work into their most essential and universal forms, as the artist sought to create an experience that would transcend the physical object.
Miró: The Experience of Seeing is organized by the Seattle Art Museum and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
At the Nasher Museum, Miró: The Experience of Seeing is made possible by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust,Marilyn M. Arthur, the Estate of Dorothy Lander, Frances P. Rollins, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Victor and Lenore Behar, Trent Carmichael, Katie Thorpe Kerr and Terrance I. R. Kerr, and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Major support is provided by Deborah DeMott, Nancy A. Nasher and David Haemisegger, Chrissy and Joel Huber, Kelly Braddy Van Winkle and Lance Van Winkle, Kathi and Steve Eason, Erickson Advisors, Graduate Liberal Studies at Duke University, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Parker and Otis, Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan, Mindy and Guy Solie, and Richard Tigner. Additional generous support is provided by Carolyn Aaronson, Arjuna Capital, Jo and Peter Baer, Carol O’Brien Associates, Inc., Ruth and Sidney Cox, Ann and Rhodes Craver, Department of Romance Studies at Duke University, Pepper and Donald Fluke, Carol and William Griffith, Eunice and Herman Grossman, Susan Rosenthal and Michael Hershfield, Thomas S. Kenan Foundation, Doren Pinnell, Jonathan J. Prinz, Caroline and Arthur Rogers, Timothy D. Warmath, and the Zinn Family.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.