The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, August 23, 2019

Artist as Activist: United Kingdom's Tate Modern to Show Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape
Joan Miró, The Escape Ladder 1940. Museum of Modern Art, New York © Joan Miró and Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

LONDON (REUTERS).- Civil war was raging in Spain, bombs were exploding in Guernica, and Spanish artist Joan Miro, stranded in Paris, was painting "Still Life with Old Shoe," where psychedelic colors spilled into everyday objects to create a scene of nightmare.

Miro's engagement with, and sometimes savage reaction to, the world around him underpins Tate Modern's "Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape," the first major exhibition of his work in London in almost 50 years.

The title of the exhibition, which opens in April 2011, is borrowed from Miro himself: the Ladder of Escape reappears in paintings and sculptures throughout his life as a ladder standing straight up and leading into the sky.

"We've chosen the Ladder of Escape in our title because ... it shows this ambiguity, the sense of being rooted in the world but trying to escape into something more ethereal," said Matthew Gale, a curator at the museum.

"At certain moments, Miro is really engaged with political ideas. And at other times, he is seeking to escape from that reality."

In his daily life, Miro was a far cry from the tortured, militant artist: born in Barcelona, he loved the insects and plants of the Catalonian countryside, and spent hours studying maps of the stars.

He is known for the brightly colored canvases with simple black lines that he painted in the 1950s and 1960s, which often appeal to children.

But Miro's strong sense of Catalan identity was under attack from General Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain as a centralized dictatorship for almost 40 years and sought to quash all remnants of Catalan separatism.

In the 1930s, Miro reacted to the violence of the time with paintings that capture a sense of militancy: tortured forms twisting in savage colors, paint-splattered like an explosion across the canvas.

"I want to assassinate painting," Miro once famously said, and it is this militant impulse that is highlighted in the exhibition.

Miro's savage artistic sense returned when he was an old man, said Marko Daniel, another curator of the exhibition.

Reacting to the trends of a new generation of artists, he created "Burned Canvas" in 1973, slashing a hole in the painting, pouring gasoline on it, and setting it on fire.

A photograph shows him standing in front of the finished work at the age of 81, peering through the burned hole in the canvas.

"When you look at him, he looks like everybody's favorite grandpa," Daniel said. "He's very neat looking, and the external conditions of his life are ... incredibly conventional. He marries, he has a family, he's a really good dad, he's got grandchildren.

"And all that passion that he's got inside just comes out when he talks about things, and of course when he paints, when he takes his buckets of paint and just flings them at the canvas."

"Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape" shows at the Tate Modern from April 14 to September 11, 2011.

© Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

Tate Modern | "Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape" | Marko Daniel |

Today's News

November 27, 2010

Galería Javier López - Mário Sequeira Opens New Space with Alex Katz Retrospective

Morandi and Fontana Lead the Milan Evening Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby's

Mexico Launches "Mexican Digital Library" Including Twenty Important Codices

Auction Houses in London Eye Russian Recovery Ahead of Next Week's Sales

MacDougall's Have the Top Lot of London's "Russian Week", Early Masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin

Unprecedented Discovery of Imperial Correspondence to Go on Sale at the Hotel des Ventes in Geneva

National Gallery in London Acquires First Work by Norwegian Artist Peder Balke

Bonhams to Hold First Modern Turkish Art Sale in London in April 2011

Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal Exhibit Shows Bastille Prison had 5-Star Comforts

Artist as Activist: United Kingdom's Tate Modern to Show Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Consumer Power: 50 Years of Choice Explores the Role of Choice Displays at the Powerhouse Museum

Major Exhibition of Work by Queensland Artist Scott Redford at the Queensland Art Gallery

Major Gifts Establish Centre for the Study of Drawings at the Courtauld Institute of Art

Sotheby's Auction The Great Britain Philatelic Collections of Lady Mairi Bury Brings £3 Million

Climate Activists in Egypt Use Art to Send Message

Phillips de Pury & Company Announces Forthcoming London Theme Auction MUSIC

Masterpieces From Tate's Collection Travel to Oman for 40th National Day Celebration

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Related Stories

Tate Modern Replaces Nude Image of 10-Year-Old Brooke Shields

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful