Seventy works from the Joan Miró collection are being displayed in Chile as part of an exhibition at the new CorpArtes Foundation Cultural Centre in the Chilean capital.
The show revolves around Mirós interest in physical matter, which he used as a way to master new techniques and also as a path towards the purity of art.
Under the direction of Rosa Maria Malet, the Fundació Joan Miró
has organised this exhibition that includes paintings on canvas, paper, and other media as well as sculptures and prints, all produced between 1931 and 1981.
Matter the tool dictates the technique; it is a means to bring something to life (...) In my painting, a short, thick line appears unexpectedly, it surprises even me (...) More important than the painting itself is what it puts out there, what it transmits. With these words recorded by Yvon Taillandier during a 1959 interview for XX Siécle, Joan Miró reflected on the importance of experimentation with matter in his work, and also on freedom and on the effects of creation using different media.
Joan Miró. The Force of Matter presents an extensive selection of this material experimentation, structured around four rooms. The first contains works produced from 1931 to 1944, in which Miró used all types of surfaces and procedures to push beyond the boundaries of painting. The artist limited himself to working in very small formats during this creative phase, which was marked by the tragedy of war.
Mirós move to Palma de Mallorca in 1956, where his friend, the architect Josep Lluís Sert, designed a studio for him, marks the start of the works exhibited in the second room. In the maturity of his career, Miró continued to experiment with pushing matter as far as it could go using different media such as canvas, paper and cardboard. During those years Miró also began to produce sculptural works based on traditional objects.
The third room focuses on Joan Miró's experiments with matter during the seventies. At the age of eighty, the artist repainted his works, burnt them and punched holes in them to strip painting of everything that makes it painting. Miró worked with a range of media, from wood to paper, ignoring technical constraints, in order to question the ultimate meaning of painting. By destroying and creating at the same time, his works provoke the spectator and question the economic value of works of art.
The final room of the exhibition is dedicated to Mirós interest in other techniques such as sculpture, tapestry and printmaking, which allowed him to continue to experiment and to work closely with craftsmen. Miró defied technique in a quest for the freedom of expression that he had achieved in painting. Especially worth noting are his works with carborundum, which allowed him to enhance matter and strengthen the lines of his etchings.
Joan Miró. The Force of Matter is the second exhibition organised by Fundació Joan Miró in Chile. From February to April 1998, Viña del Mar Cultural Centre hosted Joan Miró. Imagination and Colour, with 144 graphic works loaned by the Fundació.