Monday, October 26, 2015

Joan Miró's Spanish Playing Cards

Joan Miró was a Barcelona-born Spaniard who studied business and art as a teen, ultimately going in the direction of a business career. After a nervous breakdown he pursued a life in art. An art dealer, José Dalmau, helped him get his first solo exhibition in Barcelona.

The Spanish Playing Cards, on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, was produced in 1920 after a trip to Paris where he met Picasso for the first time. The painting shows the clear influence of the cubism in vogue at the time.

In Paris Miró took an interest in the influential Dada movement and also absorbed the ideas of the emerging Surrealists. Travels to the Netherlands resulted in influence by the Dutch Masters. By the late 1930's his work was included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York which later held his first major retrospective in 1941.

What's interesting to me is how varied the compositional elements are in this painting, especially when you zoom in on the details. Yet, in stepping back the fragmented scene hangs together and produces an effect as a whole. Here's a snippet from the museum website where this painting is briefly discussed.

EdNote: An exhibition titled Miró: The Experience of Seeing is now on display at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio featuring 50 of the artist's later paintings and sculptures.


Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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