Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Joan Miro at the Tate Modern

A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem) (1938)

Miró’s ‘painting-poems’ combine painted and written elements. This work was built around the first line of an erotic poem, balancing words and signs. The two touching triangles represent a woman in Miró’s language of signs, and the bulbous outline with hairs relates to his usual sign for the female sex. The star appears only as a word, although the ladder alludes to the desire to reach for the stars. This exemplifies Miró’s ability to combine simple imagery with ancient symbolism and make contact with deeply held instincts.

Women and Bird in the Moonlight (1949)

This work belongs to a series of paintings that Miró made in 1949-50 in Majorca. Miró’s use of simple shapes and bright colours constitutes a highly personal visual language, often charged with symbolic meaning. In this case, the women and bird of the title are easily identifiable under the moon and stars. This imagery suggests a harmonious and elemental relationship between man and nature, which the artist felt was threatened by modern civilisation.

Peinture (1927)

Delicate linear forms float on the open blue that Miró associated with dreams. With André Masson, Miró was the first to create imagery using automatic techniques in which forms seemed to emerge directly from the unconscious. From this he developed his own personal sign language, which simplified familiar things such as stars, birds and parts of the body. He later revealed, for example, that the white shape in this painting signified a horse.

Message from a Friend (1964)

Miró believed that ambiguity was essential to the poetic effect of his work. Accordingly, he deliberately left the identity of the shapes in this painting unclear. Soon after its completion he compared the central black shape to both a cloud and a whale. However, preliminary sketches show that the composition was derived from an arrow drawn on an envelope by Alexander Calder, the friend of the title. As one commentator has remarked, the work as a whole became a ‘meditation on communication’.

All this is lifted from the Tate website, get down and see this lot asap.

No comments:

Post a Comment