(1893-1983). Spanish printer - born in Barcelona. From 1912 he studied at the Barcelona Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Gali where he learned to draw objects which he knew only by touch. At his first exhibition in the Dalmau Gal, in 1918, he showed pictures which combined suggestions of Catalan folklore with a fauvist technique.
In 1919, he visited Paris, became a friend of Picasso and was for a while influenced by cubism combining it with a sophisticated Primitivism. On a second visit to Paris in 1920 he made contact with avant-garde writers and with the Paris dadaists. When the split which occurred he went along with the surrealists. He signed their manifesto in 1924 and joined the movement in 1925. His picture Terre Labouree completed in 1924, inaugurated his genuinely personal style. In its angular and spiky forms, still figurative, emerge from a smooth background and create the hallucinatory impression of a strange but undisturbing dream.
Throughout his life, whether his work was purely abstract or whether it retained figurative suggestions. Miro remained true to the basic Surrealistic principle of releasing the creative forces of the unconscious mind from control by logic and reason; rejecting traditional devices of pictorial representation and composition and fusing the spontaneous expressions of a-logical fantasy with the reality of experience into a higher reality of pictorial creation.
In his mature work he used none of the superficial devices beloved by the Surrealists and he stood apart from the several stylistic categories of Surrealism: yet he was the greatest of all Surrealist abstract artists and can be compared in stature only to Kandinsky among the forerunners of expressive abstraction. In 1940 he returned to Spain to avoid the German invasion and remained in Spain and remained there until 1948.
His late period was inaugurated by the series of Constellations luminous gouaches with small forms scattered In a magical space creating a dreamlike image of the earth and the cosmos. In 1944 he turned to ceramics in collaboration with the potter Llorens Artigas and also took up terracotta which absorbed the major part of his energies in the 1950s.
He visited the USA in 1947 and did a mural in Cincinnati; followed by a large mural for Harvard University in 1950. From 1950 until 1958 he worked on two immense ceramic wall decorations, Mur du Soleil and Mur de in Lune for the UNESCO building in Paris. During this time he was also very actively engaged on etchings and lithographs and in 1954 received the Grand Prix for graphic art at the Venice Biennale. Although it had its source in the attitudes encouraged by the Surrealist movement, Miró`s work was of a stature which precluded its being brought within the classification of Surrealism. It contains elements of Primitivism, a personal mythology and magic and innovations in the field of abstraction which take it outside all classification.
His fame was world-wide. Among his retrospective exhibitions were: The Mus of Modern Art. New York. 1941 and 1959; Barcelona and Berne. 1949; Mus. National d'Art Moderne, Paris . 1962; and the Arts Council of Gireat Bntain. 1964. The Foundation Joan Miró was opened in 1975 on the heights of Montjuic overlooking Barcelona Built by Jose Luis Sert. It is designed both as a memorial museum housing the collection of Miró`s works and as a centre of artistic activity.
In 1978 a comprehensive retrospective exhibition was staged at the Mus de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid .