Thursday, 14 August 2008

The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers

Joan Miró. The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers (from the Constellation series). July 23, 1941

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, quoted in Twentieth-Century Artists on Art

This is one of a celebrated group of twenty-four drawings, collectively referred to as the Constellation series, which was executed during a period of personal crisis for Miró triggered by the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Trapped in France from 1936 to 1940, the artist embarked on these obsessively meticulous works on paper in an attempt to commune with nature and escape the tragedies of current events. Despite their modest formats, they represented the most important works of his career up to that time, a fact he quickly realized.

1 comment:

Kodanshi said...

I recently visited Miró’s ‘Ladder of Escape’ exhibition at the Tate Modern in London (England) and his Constellations astounded me. His ‘Women Encircled by the Flight of a Bird’ literally took my breath away. I remember actually consciously having to inhale.

Bear in mind that during World War II, copious ærial bombing runs took place. Suddenly, characters repeatedly craning their necks to look upwards in his Constellations series makes sense…