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The Spirit of Miró

An innovative exhibition invoking the sprit of Joan Miro is on show at the Miró Mallorca Foundation entitled 'Miró: A Wild Spirit'. It has arrived in Mallorca after being on tour in Seoul, Bologna and Turin and offers a glimpse into the inner spirit and way of thinking of the artist.

In a private guided tour and interview with IRK Magazine, the director Francisco Copado described how the curating of the show had been conducted in house. The first room features work inspired by landscapes and he highlighted the interaction of the artworks with the space, and how the light and the moving reflections from the pool of water outside of the exhibition space interact with the perception of the works inside the gallery. Miró was strongly attached to the Mallorca landscape, and identified with it as both a refuge and a home. The wildness in his creative process was fuelled by the privacy, silence and simplicity offered by his studio and surrounding land in Mallorca. He identified with the freedom and primitive nature of cave paintings as being imbued with the timeless spirit of artistic expression. Just as prehistoric artists had left traces on the walls of their caves, hand prints had an profound significance to Miró, and he at times applied paint directly with his hands.

Miró said ´It is the land, the land. Something stronger than me.´. Joan Miró, 1977

Miró said ´I feel like a plant. That's why I live in Palma. I have roots here. My mother's family was from here. I have roots in this land´. Joan Miró, 1977

As the director was walking around the gallery, visitors would question the director about the artworks and the building, to which he would respond with a humane naturalness and deep knowledge of the works and building beyond his year in the position. It was as if the director belonged in the space and was himself merged and intertwined with the works of Miró, the building and the visitors, without the usual hierarchy and separation between ‘them’ as the visitors and ‘us’ signifying the authority of the management team. As the buildings and the artworks continue to inhabit the space of the museum, as they did in the times that Miró himself was there, the essential integration of the artist in his ambient continues in this exhibition in the space, to evoke the spirit of the artist himself.

Miró said ´Wildness is the flip side to my character.' I´m well aware. Naturally, when I´m with people, I can´t be brutal in speaking and I put on, one might say, a kind of mask´. Joan Miró, 1977

´In my paintings there are often tiny forms in vast empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains - everything that has been stripped bare has always made a strong impression on me´. Joan Miró, 1959

Joan Miró, (1968 - 1972) Untitled

Talking about the creative process of the artist, the director talked about how Miró would start a work and take a large break and reconsider the work before completion. So for example there is the above untitled work in the exhibition that took four years to complete, from 1968 to 1972, in the mediums of oil, acrylic, charcoal and chalk on canvas. He described how the works would mature in the studio and in the mind of the artist. Therefore the immediate impression of the artwork can be interpreted as layers of mark making, drawing the viewer below the surface and beyond the textures, drips, splashes and potential layers of meaning, to reveal the creative process of the artist himself. The director emphasised how the work is considerably deeper and more profound in meaning than a simple glance would suggest. We agreed that it would be fascinating to analyse the work as layers of mark making, a timeline of gestures and expressions aligned to the years of its creation, but acknowledge the impossibility of such information. Very few people had access to the working studio of Miró, and glimpsing into the degree of overlap revealed in the work give a suggestion of the process of the artist. For example, the black seems to lie above the colours and probably was the last to be applied, but has in places been drawn over retrospectively with chalk. The narrative of the creation of the work acts as a portal into the creative spirit of Miró, to facilitate the viewer to deeply contemplate the work, subsequently to acknowledge the marks and colours as distilled elements of the creative process of the artist.

Carrer Joan de Saridakis, 29,

07015 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain

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