JOAN MIRÓ. PAINTING WALLS, PAINTING WORLDS

 

Joan Miró (1893–1983) once famously declared that he wanted to “assassinate” painting. Today he is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. From February 26 through to June 12, 2016 Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents a now little discussed aspect of his oeuvre in a focused solo exhibition: Miró’s preference for large-scale formats and his fascination with the wall. In his painterly practice, the wall was the starting point – both as an object to be depicted and as an inspiration for the textural quality of his works. Miró distanced himself from the simple reproduction of reality and equated the picture plane with the wall. He explored the structure of its surface and aimed to dissolve the boundaries of the image space. His particular approach with the wall explains the care with which he selected and prepared the materials and the grounds of his pictures at every stage of his career. Miró’s paintings hereby gained the haptic qualities and textures of wall surfaces. The artist used whitewashed canvas, coarse burlap, Masonite (hardboard), sandpaper and tarpaper in order to create unique visual worlds of outstanding materiality. The exhibition at the Schirn covers over half a century of Miró’s oeuvre, beginning with his emblematic painting The Farm / La Ferme (1921/22), continuing with his iconic dream paintings of the 1920s, his key work Painting (The Magic of Colour) / Peinture (La Magie de la couleur) from 1930, his works and frieze formats painted on unconventional grounds in the 1940s and 1950s and ending with the artist’s late works, such as the monumental triptych Blue I–III / Bleu I–III (1961) and the extraordinary Paintings I–III / Peinture I–III (July 27, 1973). The Schirn exhibition brings together around 50 works from important museums and public collections across the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, as well as important private collections, and aims to present a new approach to Miró’s art.

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All pictures by VG Bild- Kunst Bonn (Germany) 2016, provided by the Schirn press office