Joan Miro

Joan Miro was born in Barcelona, Spain, the son of a goldsmith and ...


… maker.  He studied art at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, and at the Academia Gali.  He was admitted to the former at the age of 14.  However, his parents refused to support his desire to remain in the arts as an adult, and Miró’s first job was as an accountant.
Shortly after this, in 1920, the artist overruled his family and traveled to Paris; settling there the following year.  He befriended, and was influenced by Picasso, Andre Masson, Max Ernst, and others, including surrealism’s founder, Andre Breton.  In 1924 he aligned himself with the surrealists.
By 1930, Miró had developed his own unique style of imagery derived from elements of Catalan folk art; the art of children; and apparently random abstract forms.  In many of his works there is a sense that abstract lines and portions of designs have nearly completed a transition into letters and words, although, seldom actually doing so.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s Miró became an internationally famous figure, arguably matched only by Picasso in the eyes of American museums and collectors.  In 1939, with the ending of the Spanish Civil War, Miró returned to his homeland, and throughout the 1940’s experimented with many media, including, lithography, etching, ceramics, sculpture, and murals.  Later, in 1967, he would begin to improvise with carborundum etching, a relief process which he used to create richly textured, large-scale prints.
In 1947, as US museums and galleries began mounting exhibitions of his work, he paid his first visit to the States.  New York’s Museum of Modern Art hosted important exhibitions of his work in 1951 and 1959.  In 1956 Miró settled in Majorca, Spain in a studio that eventually was transformed into the Miró Museum.
Unlike his contemporaries Picasso and Dali, Miro’s personality was in counterpoint to his broad fame.  Modest, and conservatively dressed, he was orderly and meticulous with a reputation for reliability.  Today, he is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and a major influence on modern art in general.


Joan Miró  –  National Gallery of Art

Salvador Dalí – What’s My Line, 1957

John Langdon – TEDx