Constellation: Awakening at Dawn - Joan Miró, 1941
46 x 38 cm, Gouache and turpentine paint on paper
What is it about the work of the seminal Catalan artist Joan Miró that makes it so compelling?
Perhaps like me, when you first saw his work you felt an ‘aha’ of recognition? As if something familiar had been put in front of you and yet you couldn't quite place it.
Symbols from the Unconscious
The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words. The meaning comes later.”
More than just some brightly-coloured symbols, it's Miró's ability to translate unconscious symbols into powerful and coherent works of art that so transfixes us.
Today is Miró's birthday and I can't help thinking of the day I first saw his Constellation' series in the Fundació de Joan Miró during the initial few months of my life in Spain.
The Fundació is situated on the hill of Montjuic outside Barcelona and the trip from the city centre is spectacular in itself if you use the cable-car to get up there.
Spectacular views of Barcelona from the cable car to Montjuic
Fundació Joan Miró
The idea for the Fundació (foundation) was Miró’s and he created it with the help of his friend Joan Prats.
The beautiful building was designed by another friend of Miró, Josep Lluís Sert who created a natural flow for visitors through the courtyards and terraces of the airy and spacious white building which sets off perfectly Miro's colourful, playful art.
Woman Dreaming of Escape - Joan Miró, 1945 (Fundació Joan Miró)
Miró in Granada's Centro José Guerrero
In 2004, eight years after my first encounter with his work, my partner and I and two friends, went to the exhibition Joan Miró: Traspasando los Límites (Joan Miró: Transcending Limits) in el Centro José Guerrero in the centre of Granada.
Joan Miró: Traspasando los Límites (Joan Miró: Transcending Limits)
Centro José Guerrero 5 feb – 25 april 2004
This gallery is often overlooked by tourists busy visiting the iconic Alhambra Palace, and to our amazement and joy, we found the exhibition entirely empty of visitors apart from ourselves!
Once again I found myself succumbing to the incredible power of Miró’s work especially the strength and freedom of his line which - like Sargent’s - seems to reaffirm the importance of drawing as the very essence of painting.
I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music."
The Sorrowful March Guided by the Flamboyant Bird of the Desert - Joan Miró, 1968
Oil on canvas, 195 x 390cm
This show was focussed on Miró's later works and if anything they were even more impactful than the Constellation series. These late works have the hard-won simplicity of a mature artist and their bold, free lines make them even more like drawings albeit at a huge scale.
Dialogue With Your Subconscious for Creative Flow
To this day I am inspired by Miró's work to keep up a dialogue with my own subconscious in the form of 'stream-of-consciousness' drawings and I'm convinced in helps me keep my creativity flowing.