Long-Sharp Gallery

Joan Miró: Prints From The Last Decade

Joan Miró: Prints From The Last Decade

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In 1954, Joan Miró (1893-1983) won the Grand Prize for Graphic Work at the Venice Biennale. His printmaking oeuvre was vast and was an important part of his practice for most of his lifetime, but especially so in the last ten years. During this decade, in 1975, the Fundació Joan Miró opened in Barcelona which served then and now as a center for the exhibition of contemporary art. It also houses a majority of Miro's oeuvre, including virtually all of the artist’s graphic works.

In this small six-work exhibition, Long-Sharp Gallery presents graphic works in various mediums printed in collaboration with various print-makers during Miró’s last decade.

Each of these works has traveled to Barcelona and been personally examined by Rosa Maria Malet. Ms. Malet is the only person authorized by the Fundació Joan Miró to authenticate the Master’s graphic works. Long-Sharp Gallery is grateful for the connoisseurship of both the Foundation and Ms. Malet in these times when more and more illegitimate works have found their way into the market.

Above Image: Joan Miró - El Vol de l’Alosa

Joan Miró

Maravillas con variaciones acrósticas, 1975

 

Medium: Color lithograph, From the edition of 75 on Arches, signed and numbered, apart from an edition of 20 works, signed with Roman numerals and 15 copies of the block state on Rives, numbered and signed,

Size: 29.5 x 23 in (75 x 59 cm),

Framed Size: 34 x 25.5 in (86.3 x 64.7 cm),

Printer: La Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona;

Publisher: Ediciones Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona,

Reference: Mourlot 1068, Certified by Rosa Maria Malet,

Price: 8,000 USD

Joan Miró

Maravillas con variaciones acrósticas, 1975

Medium: Color lithograph From the edition of 75 on Arches, signed and numbered, apart from an edition of 20 works, signed with Roman numerals and 15 copies of the block state on Rives, numbered and signed

Size: 29.5 x 23 in (75 x 59 cm)

Framed size: 34 x 25.5 in (86.3 x 64.7 cm)

Printer: La Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona

Publisher: Ediciones Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona

Reference: Mourlot 1053 Certified by Rosa Maria Malet,

Price: 8,000 USD

Maravillas con Variaciones Acrósticas 

Wonders with Acrostic Variations in Miró’s Garden

 

Joan Miró befriended several avant-garde writers in Paris in the 1920s; literary sources would inspire his works throughout the next several decades. According to Patrick Cramer [who has written books about the artist], Miró illustrated over 260 books, catalogues, and albums in his lifetime. In fact, the first poems Miró ever created were used to illustrate L’Arbre des Voyageurs, a book of poems by Tristan Tzara in 1930. “In no way should any of the artist’s prints be considered ‘mere illustrations’ for a given text or book... They were parallel creations: fine works of art in their own right”, says Murray Macaulay, head of Prints at Christie’s London. 

 

Maravillas con Variaciones Acrósticas en el Jardín de Miró is one such book; it featured Miró’s artwork alongside poems [dedicated to Miró] by the famous Spanish poet Rafael Alberti. Miró’s visuals combine his love of nature with a playful, abstract imagination, bringing to life a garden where little “Maravillas” (“Wonders” or “Marvels”) exist amongst the butterflies and flowers. “Giving equal importance to bug, bird, and person, Miró depicts bodies represented and broken down into their most basic shapes.” (Miró: The Experience of Seeing, Educator Resource Guide, Seattle Art Museum, 2014, at page 11.)

 

The book was published in 1975 by renowned printer Ediciones Polígrafa and contains 22 lithographs. 

Long-Sharp Gallery

Joan Miró

Le Marteau Sans Maître, 1976
 

Medium: Etching and aquatint in colors
From the edition of 50 on pearl Japon, numbered and signed, apart from an edition of 125 works in Arabic numbers and proofs
Plate size: 11 x 8.875 in (27.9 x 22.5 cm);

Sheet size: 17.75 x 13.5 in (45 x 34.2 cm)
Framed size: 23.5 x 21 in (59.6 x 53.3 cm)
Printer: Morsang, Paris; Publisher: Le Vent d'Arles, Paris
Reference: Dupin 954
Certified by Rosa Maria Malet
Price: 8,000 USD

Joan Miró

Le Marteau Sans Maître, 1976


Medium: Etching and aquatint in colors
From the edition of 50 on pearl Japon, numbered and signed, apart from an edition of 125 works in Arabic numbers and proofs

Plate size: 11 x 8.875 in (27.9 x 22.5 cm)

Sheet size: 17.75 x 13.5 in (45 x 34.2 cm)
Framed size: 23.5 x 21 in (59.6 x 53.3 cm)
Printer: Morsang, Paris

Publisher: Le Vent d’Arles, Paris
Reference: Dupin 957
Certified by Rosa Maria Malet
Price: 8,000 USD

Le Marteau sans Maître

The Hammer without a Master

 

In 1912, Joan Miró enrolled in an arts academy in Barcelona, where he learned about contemporary Catalan poets and artists. In addition to other literary forms, poetry was particularly impressing on Miró, who is quoted as saying that he made “no distinction between poetry and painting.” Miró tried his own hand at poetry in the 1930s, creating early “picture poems” in which “words are arranged… for their meaning and resonance as well as the sheer beauty of their handwritten shape.” (Rosemary Lancaster, Poetic Illumination: René Char and his Artist Allies at page 99.) 

 

Le Marteau Sans Maître is a compilation of poems written by French poet René Char in 1934. Char was part of a community of writers and artists (including Breton, Picasso, Miró and Giacometti) that would result in “remarkable illustrations of his numerous poetic volumes”. (Essay by Walter A. Strauss at page 97 of Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture [Edited by Alex Hughes and Keith Reader], 1998.) 


Miró chose Char’s texts because of an “enduring interest in Char’s poems dating from their first meeting at the edges of Surrealisme.” (Thomas Jensen Hines, Collaborative Form: Studies in the Relations of the Arts at page 37.) “Like a conductor returning to the original music of his youth, Miró goes back to the poems of Le Marteau Sans Maître to renew his source of inspiration.” (Id.) The book was published by Le Vent d’Arles in 1976, and contains 23 etchings.

Joan Miró at Montroig © Ernst Scheidegger, Courtesy of Long-Sharp Gallery

Joan Miró

La Rainette, 1978


Medium: Color wash, etching, and aquatint
From the edition of 30 in Arabic numbers on Arches, numbered and signed, apart from an edition of 5 not for sale copies, numbered and signed I/V to V/V
Size: 25 x 18 in (63.5 x 45.7 cm)
Frame size: 34 x 27 in (86.3 x 68.5 cm)
Printer: Morsang, Paris

Publisher: Maeght, Paris
Reference: Dupin 1022
Certified by Rosa Maria Malet
Price: 10,000 USD

La Rainette 

The Tree Frog

 

Miró journeyed to London in 1964 for an exhibition at the Tate museum. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the things Miró expressed upon his arrival in England was a fascination “the possibility of encountering some of the London Zoo animals at close quarters… [particularly] ‘brightly colored birds and creatures of the night.” (Desmond Morris, London Zoo curator, as quoted in an interview for Tate, etc., Summer 2011.) 

 

This fascination with animals is evident throughout Miró’s career, in which countless works are inspired by plant and animal life. “Filled with animals, people, places, and the environment, Miró’s early paintings hold a wealth of information to encourage critical thinking. Miró reimagines his world, creating complex systems of biomorphic and abstract shapes filled with symbolism that construct an invented universe.” (Miró: The Experience of Seeing, Educator Resource Guide, Seattle Art Museum, 2014, at page 11.)


 

“For me, the essential things are the artistic and poetic occurrences, the associations of forms and idea: a form gives me an idea, this idea evokes another form, and everything culminates in figures, animals and things I had no way of foreseeing in advance.” (Joan Miró, 1974, as quoted in Miró: The Experience of Seeing, Educator Resource Guide, Seattle Art Museum, 2014, at page 2.) 

 

Miró’s vocabulary of forms broad, but there are some symbols that repeat themselves throughout many of the artist’s works. This vocabulary consists of “male and female personages… the sun, moon, and stars; animals, birds, reptiles… to represent the human figure.” (Harold Rosenberg, Art on the Edge: Creators and Situations at page 23.)  La Rainette is one of a few works in which the frog makes an appearance by name, but one of many in which Miró harkens back to his plant and animal inspirations. 

Joan Miró

El Vol de l’Alosa, 1973


Medium: Lithograph on Guarro watermarked Miro paper
From the edition of 90 plus proofs, this is an Artist Proof
Hand signed and dated lower right, numbered lower left
Size: 17.125 x 25.625 in (44 x 65 cm)
Framed Size: 29 x 37.25 in (73.6 x 94.6 cm)
Publisher: Mallorca Daily Bulletin, Palma de Mallorca

Printer: La Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona
Reference: Mourlot 924
Certified by Rosa Maria Malet
Price: 7,000 USD

El Vol d’Alosa 

The Flight of the Lark or Swallow[s]

 

Miró was born in 1893 in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. He did not travel outside of Catalonia until he was 27 years old, but “[b]ent on converting both traditional and vanguard art to his own uses” Miro’s early works “mix modernism’s new styles with Catalan content, witnessing the artist’s aspiration to become an ‘international Catalan.’” (Carolyn Lanchner of the Museum of Modern Art.) 

 

The early 1900s were a time of “intense Catalan nationalist feelings” for young Miró. “It was the age of nationalism in Europe, and the Catalans, who spoke their own language - a language closer to a French dialect known as Langue d'Oc than to Castilian Spanish - revived historical memories and myths of Catalan medieval greatness and expanse.” (Stanley Meisler, For Joan Miró, poetry and painting were the same, Smithsonian Magazine, November 1993.) In addition to Barcelona, much inspiration was drawn from the countryside of Montroig and the sunlit island of Mallorca. 


El Vol d’Alosa was published in 1973, allegedly as a contribution to the festivities being planned for Miró’s birthday celebration. The book is a tribute to his beloved Catalonia, containing 21 of Miró’s drawings and 19 poems by Mallorcan authors.

Joan Miró

Born in Spain, in 1893 as the son of a goldsmith and a jewelry maker, Joan Miró displayed an early aptitude and passion for art in contempt of his parents’ discouragement. At the age of 14, Miró attended Fine Arts and Business school at La Lonja’s School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. After three years of studies, Miró followed his parents’ wishes, taking a job as an accountant, in which he later suffered a nervous breakdown. After his recovery, he abandoned his business career to recommit himself to his art studies, enrolling at Francesco Gali’s Escola d’Art in Barcelona. Miró settled in 1956 in a villa in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, which was later transformed into the beloved Miró Museum. Though the artist died at age 90, his iconic works are displayed today in such collections as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Gallery in London.

Full Biography

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