January 4, 2012

Upcoming: Joan Miró Retrospective at NGA in May 2012

I was at the National Gallery a few weeks ago where I took this snapshot of Joan Miró's breathtaking triptych Mural Painting I–III (1962). It turns out the NGA is bringing the Tate's Miró retrospective, "Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape," to Washington in May. According to the press materials, the exhibition puts Miró's paintings in a political context, presenting work created during a turbulent and bloody period that included the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Under the political restrictions of Franco's Spain, Miró's paintings of the late 1960s and early 1970s became a symbol of resistance to the oppressive regime. Miró's work has long been interpreted as charming and playful, but I've always seen a darker side to his odd creatures and spiky linework since I visited the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona several years ago.

The exhibition will be a good continuation of MoMA's 2009 exhibition of Miró's paintings from 1927-1937 (curated by Anne Umland) that looked a Miró's painting concerns and the radical experimentation he undertook after he declared, “I want to assassinate painting.” An excellent show, it  nearly made my Top Ten List for 2009.


Joan Miró's breathtaking triptych Mural Painting I–III (1962) is extremely hard to photograph, but it's a fantastic painting.

 Detail: Joan Miró, Mural Painting I–III (1962). Definitely click on this one to enlarge.


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