SPANISH PAINTER, SCULPTOR, AND CERAMICIST JOAN MIRÓ IS A LONG-STANDING FAVORITE FOR US AT MODERN IN DENVER, AND WE’RE EXCITED TO SEE HIS WORK ON DISPLAY AT THE DENVER ART MUSEUM UNTIL JUNE 28.
WORDS: ALEXIS METHVEN
From his textile work to his building murals—which won him the Guggenheim International Award—to his underwater sculpture, each Miró piece is an innovative take on reality and wholly unique.
Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination focuses on Miró’s work during the last 20 years of his life, starting in the 1960s, and includes dozens of paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Our favorite? Woman, Bird and Star (an homage to Picasso), features Miró’s signature mix of primary colors and stacked shapes. The subjects of the piece were regnant themes in Miró’s later life works, which he explored in a variety of mediums. The woman figure grounds us in worldly being, while birds and stars serve as reminders of an ethereal world just out of our grasp.
But back to the exhibit and that word “imagination”—what we love most about Miró. That creativity grew with his age, and many of his later works play with a mixture of both painting and sculpture. During this time, he began exploring new materials, often incorporating found objects from the beach near his home in Mallorca, Spain. This marks the beginning of some truly astounding bronze work: Found objects like wood, stone, and metal were arranged, made into a wax mold, and then cast in bronze. The final pieces are his paintings come to life—and three-dimensional, of course.
Figure and Bird is one such piece, consisting of what appears to be a flat stone body topped with a woven basket head and gestural bird garnish, all cast in bronze. It is reminiscent of earlier Miró paintings with large, flat shapes stacked atop one another in a delicate balancing act. At its essence, a Miró work is a snapshot of what it is to be human.
Instinct & Imagination includes a total of over 50 late works, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Europe. But what else sets apart this exhibit? The “Spark Studio,” where visitors can explore their own creativity with hands-on activities. Build freeform sculptures! Try out new painting and drawing techniques! And, following the footsteps of Miró, dig into a medley of activities designed to unleash your creativity.
Who knows … you could just be the next big thing.