Referred to as the "most Surrealist of us all" by Andre Breton,
Joan Miro i Ferra was born on April 20, 1893 in Barcelona.
Resisting being pigeon holed as an artist in a particular
style, it is his use of sexual symbols and a great interest
in automatism that earned him recognition as a surrealist
artist. Some of his work, however, shows inspiration from
the Dada movement.
studied at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, and then moved
to Paris in 1923. It was there that he met German surrealist
Max Ernst, and together they designed several pieces for Sergei
Diaghilev, a Russian art critic. It was this collaboration
that produced the surrealist painting technique known as grattage,
where paint is scraped off of the canvas with a trowel.
in his career, Joan Miromoved away from painting to focus on other
mediums, including ceramics and sculpting. Two of the most
famous of the hundreds of ceramics pieces he created – The
Wall of the Moon and The Wall of the Sun - are on display
at the UNESCO Building in Paris. He also created temporary
paintings on glass windows for an exhibit in his later years.
It was toward the end of his life that he began writing some
of his most unusual ideas, including gas sculpting.
was the recipient of several prestigious awards during his
lifetime. In 1954, he received the Venice Biennale print making
prize for images depicting the Spanish Civil War. In 1958,
he received the Guggenheim International Award, and just a
few years prior to his death, he was presented with a Gold
Medal of Fine Arts by King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Miro married Pilar Juncosa in 1929, and the couple welcomed
daughter Dolores in 1931. He died in Mallorca in 1983, bedridden
and stricken with heart disease and respiratory problems.
He is buried in Montjuic Cemetery in Barcelona.
of Miros works can be seen at the Joan Miro Foundation Center
for Contemporary Art in Barcelona; and there are several pieces
at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. A Miro painting
today commands a price tag of up to $10 million.