Joan Miró

Discover Surrealism in the work of Joan Miró
"The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see, in an immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun. There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains – everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me."

— Joan Miró, 1958, in Twentieth-Century Artists on Art
Joan Miró



Born on 20 April, 1893 in Barcelona, Joan Miró was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist. The artist’s innovative use of lines, colour and organic shapes represent a major contribution to Surrealism. 

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Joan Miró is best known as a Surrealist artist whose canvases evoked allusive spaces and floating worlds. In 1919, Miró moved to Paris, becoming acquainted with the Surrealist crowd, befriending important figures such as André Breton, Max Ernst and André Masson. Where each Surrealist artist is as different from the next in their depiction of the surreal, Miró's work draws us into the subconscious mind through the excellent simplicity of his objects, which are depicted in a childlike, yet enchanting manner.

The symbolic and poetic nature of Miró's work, as well as the contradictions inherent to it, fit well within the context of dream-like automatism as championed by the Surrealist group he came to be a part of. As seen in Oiseau s'envolant, 1963 (below), Miró celebrates the use of empty space in order to bring clarity to his subjects, be it a bird, human or star. 

Throughout his artistic career, the artist works towards an 'assassination of painting'. He fought against conventional and established painting methods in retaliation to bourgeois society, ultimately creating his own unique, pictorial expression. An expression which, today, is recognised worldwide. 
Joan Miró, Oiseau s'envolant, 1963, oil on cardboard, 102.5 x 74.5 cm
April 20, 2020