Ever since we moved to the south of France I have been a great fan of the artist, Joan Miró. There is an excellent collection of his work at the Foundation Maeght in St Paul de Vence, which is set in the hills behind Nice. This is really where I first discovered him and I frequently return there to the gardens to sit amongst his paintings and sculptures in such perfect surroundings.
“For me, a painting should be like sparks. It should dazzle you like the beauty of a woman or a poem.”
His works are joyous and full of colour and poetry. Ideal for this grim winter. Alas, we are snowed in outside Paris and I have flu so I have not been able to get myself to the highly-praised exhibition that is currently taking place at the Grand Palais in Paris and which I had intended to write about for this month’s blog. It runs until 4th February so there are few days left and I am still hoping that I can make it.
The exhibition consists of close to 150 works and is laid out in such a way as to trace the stylistic and technical evolution of the artist.
Joan Miró was a Catalan artist born in Barcelona in 1893 and died in Palma, Majorca in 1983. He began to paint at the age of eight. When he reached college age, his parents insisted he study business which caused him to have a breakdown. In his early years he was influenced by the works and architecture of Antoni Gaudi who rarely strayed far from his home city of Barcelona.
Miró first went to Paris in 1920. He was 27 years old when he met Picasso at the great man’s studio in the rue de la Boétie. Picasso aided and befriended the younger artist and was a important help to Miró in that he pushed dealers and collectors in the direction of his fellow Spaniard, helping Miró build an international reputation.
Miró spent the Spanish Civil War years in Paris although unlike Picasso, Miró did return to Spain during the years of Franco’s dictatorship. In 1940, he moved to the island of Mallorca. Both men were deeply affected by the events that were taking place in their motherland. Picasso never returned to his native home; he remained an exile to…