Reflections from Joan Miro (1893-1983)


Yesterday I went to an exhibition at EMMA commemorating Joan Miro. His paintings are deservedly famous, reflecting a highly personal, cosmic script. He is less known as a sculptor, despite his spectacular ceramic walls i.a. in front of the UNCTAD headquarters in Paris. This exhibition emphasized his late work, mostly giant bronzes.

Miro was a patient, hard-working artist. He was a loner and clung to a quiet, orderly lifestyle. No artistic license on his part. He achieved real recognition only in his late forties but continued to learn all his life. The bronzes represent his final efforts to embrace reality with complete honesty, thou always with a twinkle in his eye.

A smallish, half-meter bronze called maternity was the masterpiece of the exhibition. My wife and I arrived independently at the same conclusion. A sitting motherly figure is holding an oversize larva-like creature on her hip. Her scurrilous smile reflects all the joy and grief of motherhood. The whole sculpture delineates the violent confrontation with the savage realities of life. It was a revelation.

Art is the science of man. Like every artist, Miro could not explore more than a tiny part of the human condition. But at 88 he still sculpted deep truth.

For a broader view see Art Is the Science of Man.