I thought Joan Miro was a woman. He wasn’t. Turns out Joan is the Catalan version of Juan, which Miro preferred.
Tate have assembled a remarkable collection of his works in Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape. Some of them make sense. Some of them don’t. It’s intriguing. Some of them are beautiful. Some of them really aren’t. But that’s okay, cos I don’t think that’s what he was going for.
May 1968 is one of the beautiful, hopeful works. I think.
Made me think about Egypt.
And as seems essential with each Tate Modern exhibition now, there’s an excellent short film on Miro to go along with the exhibition.
The exhibition focuses on this idea that Miro was painting a way out of Franco’s dictatorship – painting as his weapon in the fight against Fascism and then dictatorship, painting as violence against a regime and as inspiration for a free Spain and his homeland, Catalonia. There’s some quite Romantic stuff in his early works. It’s all interesting stuff, although it’d be interesting to know a little bit more about the way the works were constructed.
The short copy alongside the paintings tend to describe the form, style or subject matter. All of which is nice, but left more questions unanswered. Which perhaps was the idea. I wanted to know more about his choice of colour, something never mentioned in the exhibition, which to me seems the most striking thing about his works – the combination of shape, form and colour. Many works only feature four or five colours – an ochre red and yellow (see the flag of Spain, solid blocks of black and white. And that Miro blue.
The Escape Ladder
Woman and birds
A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem)
The burnt canvases are amazing: seen in this handy Guardian slide show.
For more, Tate blogs has a few good posts from the loving curators.