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Miro (Great Modern Masters) (edition 1995)
by Joan Miro, Jose Maria Faerna, Jose Maria Faerna (Editor), Elsa Haas (Translator)
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Joan Miro (1893-1983), the foremost painter associated with Surrealism, studied in his native Barcelona before going to Paris in 1920. He was enthralled by the work of the Cubist and Fauve artists, who influenced his early style. During the 1920s he met regularly with a number of Surrealists, with whom he began to exhibit in 1925. His free-form abstractions from the 1920s draw on fantasy, dream, and myth, and many have been characterized as attempts at psychic automatism, or direct transcription of the subconscious. Despite such links with the Surrealists, however, Miro was never an orthodox member of the group. After 1930, he developed his lyrical mature style, distinguished by playful juxtapositions of freely flowing lines and brightly colored, abstract or organic forms. With remarkable consistency, he would continue to work in this visual world he had made for the rest of his career. During World War II he created an astonishing series of works on paper known as the Constellations, among the most personal of all artists' responses to the disasters of that time. In the late 1940s and the 1950s, Miro produced a number of monumental paintings, including murals for hotels in New York and Cincinnati and for the Graduate Center at Harvard University. In 1958 he designed one of his largest works, the ceramic mural for the UNESCO Building in Paris. Besides paintings, Miro produced a large body of lithographs, a medium especially suited to his simplified forms and wiry lines.
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