The Nasher Museum presents a rare glimpse at the later works of Spanish-born artist Joan Miró (1893-1983), one of the greatest innovators of 20th-century art in Europe. A contemporary of Picasso as well as a fellow Catalan, Miró 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, Miró: 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. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
At the Nasher Museum, Miró: The Experience of Seeing is made possible by Marilyn M. Arthur, the Estate of Dorothy Lander, Trent Carmichael, Drs. Victor and Lenore Behar, Parker and Otis, Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan, Mindy and Guy Solie, Richard Tigner, Carolyn Aaronson, Eunice and Herman Grossman, and Angela O. Terry.
LEFT: Joan Miró, Woman, Bird and Star (Homage to Picasso), 1966 / 1973, Oil on canvas, 96 7/16 x 66 15/16 inches (245 x 170 cm), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. © Successió Miró / Arists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
RIGHT: Joan Miró, Figure, 1969, Lost wax casting, patinated bronze, 55 7/8 x 16 3/4 x 16 5/16 inches (142 x 42.5 x 41.4 cm), Base: 16 9/16 x 12 13/16 x 12 3/16 inches (42.1 cm x 32.5 x 32.5 cm) , Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. © Successió Miró / Arists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.