The Catalonian artist Joan Miró is presented in the Albertina with a solo exhibition as the third in a series of outstanding artists of Surrealism.
Following the retrospectives of René Magritte in 2011/12 and Max Ernst in 2013, that devoted to Joan Miró is also part of our exhibition programme of Surrealist artists, who are represented in our paintings collection, the Batliner Collection. Like the Surrealists, Miró sets out to find new ways of observing the world. While Magritte does this through pictorial and linguistic puzzles, and Max Ernst discovers artistic processes so as to bring forth the unconscious from within him, with Miró it is poetry that inspires him.
Likewise in the spirit of Surrealism, he also finds the starting point for his work in what is immediately around him. Miró was an artist whose work was linked throughout his life with the roots of his origins and at the same time with a desire for freedom and independence. The dedication to the Catalonian landscape and fascination with the primordial in all things and living creatures form the basis of his art. His painting, which is marked by so much lightness, poetry, spontaneity and freedom, is created from a careful working process and an affinity to the primordial, that which is unadulterated and raw.
The Albertina shows the Joan Miró exhibition until January 11, 2015. A selection of around 100 works – paintings, drawings and objects – sets out to show the path taken by the artist, both in thought and craft: ‘from earth to the sky’. Criticised initially by André Breton on account of his ‘naive’ and ‘intellectually limited vision of art, it is precisely this approach that gives Miró’s work so light-hearted an appearance. What is hidden behind the mirthful impression conveyed by Miró’s pictures? Contemporaries attempted to characterise his works with such words as ‘the child-like comical’, ‘the humorous’ or – like Michel Leiris – the term ‘emptiness’. Our exhibition continues this - in the attempt to dissolves these apparent contradictions in the work and thinking of Miró. Miró cleansed his perceptions and this childlike quality of seeing forms the basis for a serious debate with, and the unconstrained and equally attentive fascination with all things.
If Miró guides this precise observation of his surroundings towards a poetic, visionary and universal world of pictures, reality may be the starting point, but never the destination. The transformation of natural observations into a system of colours and forms is the central thread informing his creative idea. His poetic pictorial language is magical and universal. Moons, suns, stars and comets, eyes and insects, birds and women all populate his pictures. The poetic interpretation of his interest in the world and the cosmos can be read from signs such as these, from flora and fauna, and not least of all from man himself and his place within it. Unlike the Surrealists, Miró does not manifest in his works any material from the unconscious. His pictures allow visions of the primordial, of the real essence, of things, of the world, of the universe.