May 6–August 12, 2012
Celebrated as one of the greatest modern artists, Joan Miró (1893–1983) developed a visual language that reflected his vision and energy in a variety of styles across many media. Through some 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints from a career spanning almost a century, the exhibition reveals a politically engaged side to Miró's work, including his passionate response to one of the most turbulent periods in European history as well as his sense of Spanish—specifically Catalan—identity.
Organization: Organized by Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, and in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington
Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.
Additional support is provided by Buffy and William Cafritz.
The Institut Ramon Llull is an exhibition sponsor in Washington and London.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Schedule: Tate Modern, London, April 14–September 11, 2011; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, October 13, 2011–March 25, 2012; National Gallery of Art, May 6–August 12, 2012
As part of the exhibition Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape, two of the artist's scroll drawings are installed in the National Gallery of Art Study Center located on the Ground Floor of the East Building. These two drawings, each executed on a different day in 1972, are here shown together for the first time. Longer than 30 feet apiece, each work is composed of several sheets of a thin Japanese paper on which the artist has applied ink using a variety of tools including bamboo pens and brushes. Lines and shapes combine to form what could be seen as a visual glossary of the abstract signs that appear throughout Miró's work.
Accompanying the drawings is a lithograph produced in August 1972 as the preface for an exhibition catalogue of the work of Alexander Calder, Miró's longtime friend. The similar format underscores the interest the artist had in working in long strips.
In a 1974 interview, Miró stated:
"You want to know if I am interested in comic strips? Certainly. And first of all in strips as strips, very long strips, like scrolls. There is a scroll of this kind in Zurich, for example. And I also did a very large strip on silk for Lyon. These scrolls allow you to follow a formal rhythm." (from Yvon Taillandier, "Miró: Now I Work on the Floor" in Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, ed. Margit Rowell. Boston, 1986: 283–284.)
These works demonstrate the Eastern influence that Miró himself acknowledged on his work. Flowing in a visual stream of consciousness, the figures play off of one another, evoking a single trancelike flourish punctuated by changes in gesture and the rhythm of the expressive strokes.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Schedule: National Gallery of Art, May 6–August 12, 2012