New exhibition at the MNBAQ from May 30 to September 8, 2019
QUÉBEC CITY, May 29, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - The Spanish sun will shine on Québec all summer, since Joan Miró (1893-1983), the internationally renowned Spanish painter and sculptor who created a body of work that is emblematic of 20th century art, will have a place of honour from May 30 to September 8, 2019 at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ). This is the only North American venue for the Miró in Mallorca. A Free Spirit exhibition, presented by Desjardins. It proposes an outstanding array of nearly 200 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, including numerous large canvases. The selection of works, drawn from the collections of the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca (Spain) and the Successió Miró, covers the artist's mature period (1956-1981), when he settled in Mallorca and pursued his research in a spirit of great freedom.
Miró's international reputation was already established at that time. He created more than one-third of his overall body of work in Mallorca in a cherished environment where he was especially prolific for 25 years, guided by his remarkable talent for experimentation.
"I work in a state of passion and escalating emotion.
When I start a painting, I obey a physical impulse,
the need to propel myself."
— Joan Miró, 1959
A unique pictorial language
Miró gave himself up to the suggestive nature of materials and the expressive power of gestures and produced paintings bursting with creativity. His eminently suggestive work has universal appeal. The artist was deeply attached to the art and nature of his country. He elaborated a unique pictorial language in which rudimentary shapes assume symbolic value. Miró's works celebrates women, birds or the starry night in astonishing ideograms that display an unrestrained imagination. His spectacular compositions, which draw inspiration, in particular, from American action painting, display his insatiable need to explore and reveal a resolutely young, non-conformist artist whose modernity is still topical.
Miró, the perpetual explorer
This first major exhibition devoted to Miró in Québec for more than 30 years hinges on four main themes that offer as many interpretations of the body of work of an artist who was already an acknowledged 20th century icon, an artist of universal charm regarded as a key figure of surrealism.
The first zone shows the artist's Catalan roots and his attachment to the art, nature and landscapes of his country, through prehistoric rock paintings or the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which are among his main sources of inspiration.
The second zone examines abstract impressionism and oriental calligraphy, which were the key influences on the artist during this period. Miró greatly admired the spontaneity of American painters and the delicate balance that Japanese artists achieved, as several spectacular large canvases reveal.
The third zone presents the array of original shapes that Miró created and reveals singular imagery inspired by his favourite themes in astonishing sculptures and superb ideograms that display unbridled imagination.
Lastly, the fourth zone of the exhibition is devoted to major compositions from the artist's mature period, characterized by bold gestures and a great variety of techniques and materials. It concludes with a vast series of monumental paintings in black and white, an especially daring technique, in which the landscape assumes a genuinely cosmic dimension.
"Prehistoric cave art had a great impact on me since it is the purest,
most primitive expression of mankind."
– Joan Miró, 1978
Essential examples from an outstanding body of work
Among the seminal works of Joan Miró assembled in Québec City, mention should be made of Painting (circa 1977). The caricatural character with bulging eyes and a disproportionately stretched nose seeks to pay tribute to primitive art and to prehistoric rock paintings.
Mention should also be made of the strength of Painting (circa 1973), which proposes a spectacular composition that admirably combines abstract expressionism and oriental calligraphy, two major influences on the artist's work.
Among the sculptures that are representative of the Spanish artist's work, Maternity (1969) embodies one of his favourite themes, which he emphasized in numerous sculptures and paintings throughout his career.
Lastly, a large triptych produced in the Mallorca studio, three remarkable landscapes painted around 1973, are among the major works in the exhibition. Aside from the impressive size of the work overall, the canvases display a remarkable refinement of the artist's visual arts language. His increasingly restrained palette reflects Miró's quest for absolute simplification: "I feel the need to attain the utmost intensity with the fewest means, which has led me to adopt an increasingly uncluttered style in my painting."
"I dream of a big studio."
The studio where anything was possible
In 1954, architect Josep Lluís Sert designed a dream studio for his friend Miró. In 1956, the artist permanently settled in this space open to nature bathed in the light of Palma de Majorque. This marked a return to his roots since his mother was Majorcan and his wife was a native of the Spanish island. Moreover, 50 objects drawn from the studio will be presented in the MNBAQ exhibition, including folk art, ceramics and shells, to throw light on the artist's approach and the context in which he worked.
In addition to the exhibition, visitors can also watch Cesc Mulet's film Je rêve d'un grand atelier, which proposes a visit to the Atelier Sert, the magnificent space where the artist worked for more than 25 years. The 12-minute film produced in 2018 and shown continuously provides a remarkable introduction to Miró's universe and reveals his works in their original context.
A unique presentation for the MNBAQ
The MNBAQ's presentation of an exhibition of Miró in Mallorca. A Free Spirit's scope makes the museum part of a prestigious international circuit. The exhibition affords a unique perspective of Joan Miró, an artist of universal charm, and his playful, extravagant, poetic work that is as powerful as the Spanish sun.
The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca in a nutshell
The Miró Mallorca Fundació (Spain), created in 1981, stemmed from the desire of Miró and his wife to bequeath to the city of Palma the collection from the artist's studio. The foundation was established in the artist's studio, an 18th-century house in the country and a magnificent studio designed in 1956 by Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert. The 6 000 works, drawings, objects and documents that it possesses make up one of the biggest collections of Miró's works. One of the foundation's buildings is a big museum, inaugurated in 1992, which comprises beautiful exhibition spaces, a library and educational spaces and services.
A catalogue that is vibrant and timeless like Miró's work
To enrich the experience of a visit to the Miró in Mallorca. A Free Spirit exhibition, the eponymous catalogue, coproduced with 5 Continents Éditions, is a powerful work that reflects Miró's timeless iconography and is essential reading. It highlights the artist's rich and diverse body of work produced between 1956 and 1981, featured on this very rare occasion in a French-language publication. A number of essential paintings but also sculptures, collages, sketches and rough sketches enliven the catalogue and evoke for readers the emotions that a visit to the exhibition arouses. The generously illustrated publication includes a very personal foreword by Joan Punyet Miró, the artist's grandson, and informative essays by Patricia Juncosa and Pilar Baos (Fundació Pilar i Juan Miró a Mallorca), André Gilbert (Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec), and a chronology of the two decades that Miró spent in Mallorca.
Distributed by Dimedia, Miró à Majorque. Un esprit libre is a French-language publication available in Canada, at the MNBAQ bookstore-boutique and in bookstores for $49.95. 5 Continents Éditions will distribute the publication in French-speaking countries through its official distributors, Les Belles Lettres. ISBN: 978-2-551-26393-6
The Miró in Mallorca. A Free Spirit exhibition, presented by Desjardins from May 30 to September 8, 2019, has been organized by the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. It has received financial support from the Québec government and Québec City under the Agreement on Cultural.
Curator and Coordinator
Patricia Juncosa Vecchierini
Head of the Collections Department and Curator, Fundació Miró Mallorca
Pilar Baos Rodríguez
Fundació Miró Mallorca
Curator of Exhibitions, MNBAQ
FOR THE FUNDACIÓ PILAR I JOAN MIRÓ A MALLORCA
Francisco Copado Carralero Director, Fundació Miró Mallorca
FOR THE MNBAQ
Exhibitions Service Manager,
Mediation Service Manager, MNBAQ
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.
Miró in Mallorca. A Free Spirit
Pierre Lassonde Pavilion of the MNBAQ
May 30 to September 8, 2019
SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
For further information: 418 643-2150 or 1 866 220-2150 / mnbaq.org