Joan Miró "Woman, Bird, and Star (Homage to Picasso)"
Denver Art Museum
From: Denver Art Museum Limited Edition: 12 Exhibition:Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl Dimensions: 30" x 89" (76cm x 226cm) Hanging Hardware Included
When Joan Miró left Spain for Paris in 1920, he took a cake for Pablo Picasso. Besides both being artists of Spanish descent, their mothers were friends. At 27, Miró was ready to meet the older artist he so admired. He asked Picasso’s mother if she’d like to send anything to her son. A cake it was, and Miró’s delivery forged a lasting relationship. Picasso served as mentor, introducing Miró to the Parisian art community, and as brother in opposition to the rise of fascism during the Spanish Civil War. One of the banners used to promote the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition, Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination, featured Miró’s painting, Woman, Bird, and Star (Homage to Picasso).
Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination featured more than 50 works created in the last two decades of the artist’s life, between 1963 and 1981. A very prolific artist who died at 90, Miró suffered no decline in creativity with age. At 82, he said, “It’s the young people who interest me, and not the old dodos.” The exhibition’s paintings, drawings and sculpture belong to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, which organized the exhibition with the Seattle Art Museum.
With bold color and playful energy, Miró’s work is rich with symbols: female forms for fertility and earthly presence, birds for imagination and poetry, and stars for the cosmos and unlimited possibilities. Many of his inventive sculptural forms were assembled with objects – wooden spoons, rocks, gourds -- found on the beach near his home in Majorca, Spain. Though it may seem common today, Miró was one of the first artists to assemble found pieces to create new sculptural objects.
Denver Art Museum curator, Gwen Chanzit, cleverly installed Miró’s paintings and drawings with his sculpture, playing on common elements and themes. The exhibition started with the painting, Woman, Bird, and Star (Homage to Picasso) and was displayed with Figure, a lost wax casting in bronze. Both whimsical single figures with a bird element and protrusions from the head, the two pieces seemed to be in close conversation as they ‘welcomed’ guests to the exhibition.
Woman, Bird, and Star (Homage to Pablo Picasso)appeared on one of two banners used to promote the exhibition. Miró began the painting in 1966 but called it complete by signing it on the day Picasso died in 1973. It is quintessential Miró with fine lines and organic shapes in deep red, black, blue, green, and orange on a white background with an asterisk-like star. The image is framed on the banner with a bright green top and bottom border. The artist’s signature (with “Miró stars” dotting the “j” and “i”) and “Instinct & Imagination” are in the top border and “March 22-June 28/Denver Art Museum” appear at the bottom.
The painting, Entranced by the Escape of Shooting Stars, was featured on the second banner. An intense use of flat black acrylic on white boldly creates tension between an abstract female figure of the human world and her gesticulating arms suggestive of flight and escape to the celestial world. The image is framed similarly on the banner, but with a light blue top and bottom border.