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Definition: Miró, Joan from Philip's Encyclopedia

Spanish painter and graphic artist. Early works reveal experimentation with fauvism, cubism, and dada. His Catalan Landscape (1923) heralds his more mature work and a close affinity with abstract art and primitivism. In 1924 Miró became a member of the surrealism movement, producing works such as Dog barking at the moon (1926). His work is often playful, but the Spanish Civil War provoked him into creating darker, more savage images.

Summary Article: Miró, Joan
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Spanish painter and sculptor, a major figure in surrealism. In the mid-1920s he developed an abstract style, lyrical and often witty, with amoeba shapes, some linear, some highly coloured, generally floating on a plain background. Birth of the World (1925; Museum of Modern Art, New York) is typical of his more abstract works.

His paintings before 1922 combine the influence of cubism with an emblematic treatment of detail. In 1924 he joined the surrealists, and increasingly a strong element of fantasy entered his work, as in the painting The Hunter (1923–24; Museum of Modern Art, New York), an elaborate composition full of strange creatures and erotic imagery. He also made more abstract paintings in which rudimentary signs are set against a background of drips and splashes, anticipating abstract expressionism.

During the 1930s he was deeply affected by the Spanish Civil War and his style became more sober, probing, and at times savage. After World War II he produced larger abstracts, experimented with printmaking and sculpture (sometimes using everyday objects), and produced ceramic murals (including two in the UNESCO building in Paris, 1958). He also designed stained glass and sets for the ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev.


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Miró, Joan

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