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Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:01 am
by Des
I finally got round to seeing this exhibition today - a stunning and comprehensive show which sheds new light on this giant of Surrealism. It was fascinating to see the development of his art from early figurative Catalan rustic scenes to the abstract masterpieces we are so familiar with. However, nothing can prepare you for the brilliance of his canvases and the saturated colours and ambiguous shapes that assault you as you enter the dozen or so rooms in the exhibition.

Gazing at his canvases, you become aware of repeated symbols and recurring thematic pre-occupations and yet these never become monotonous or predictable. Paradoxically, they serve to empasise Miró's versatility as an artist because the symbols appear within radically diverse contexts. The most fascinating works for me are the burnt canvases, where Miró has entered a partnership with a destructive and fearsome elemental force. The result of this 'collaboration' is an unlikely blend of the planned and the contingent. Charred and jagged voids appear in the centre of the canvases, which are suspended in the middle of the room so you can walk around them and see them from both sides. They have effectively become sculptures. His most beautiful paintings are undoubtedly the 'constellation' series - dazzling and intense - many of which are represented here.

My view of Miró has shifted radically after seeing this exhibition. I thought of him as apolitical but this show emphasises his sense of Catalan identity and committed stance against Franco. His unsettling but beautiful paintings bear witness to an age of violence and anxiety we can only guess at. A very fine show.

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Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:40 pm
by Martin Owen
My first encounter with Miró's work was on the cover art of Time Further Out - Dave Brubeck Quartet experiment with different rhythms as a precocious 12 year old. I still have the album with its Miro art - the follow up to Time Out that has a great Neil Fujita cover.

Anyways - blessed as a frequent visitor to Barcelona - worth the trip for an afternoon in Fundacion Miro anyway.

Any other notable art cover/ musical connections?

PS - as a frequent visitor to Cala Deia, Mati Kiarwein's cover art for Abaraxus rates as an all time fave cover - Mati's work is in the Forn bar. too

Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:25 pm
by Chris P
Martin Owen wrote:Any other notable art cover/ musical connections?


Jack the Dripper on Ornette's Free Jazz

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on the subject of Miro, drummer Bobby Previte did some great live shows a decade or so ago, based around compositions inspired by Miro's Constellation paintings - with those paintings projected in large size behind the musicians - looked great

Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:23 pm
by Rob Hall
Martin Owen wrote:Any other notable art cover/ musical connections?

Richard Hamilton's "The Beatles":
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Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:35 am
by uiwangmike
Jackson Browne's Late for the Sky had a neat Magritte pastiche on the sleeve, which perhaps someone cleverer than me can post. I see there's a Magritte exhibition at Tate Liverpool this summer. Too bad I'll miss both that and Miró.

Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:48 am
by Philellinas
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Magritte's original

Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:07 am
by Martin Owen
Gericault's Raft of Medusa has a pastiche as the Pogues Rum Sodomy and the Lash


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and

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Least said about coldplay the better however they appropriated Delacroix's La Liberté guidant le peuple

Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:49 am
by Martin Owen
I always liked Ben Shahn's painting on the cover of Andre Previn and Pals' west Side Story

A great image that matched time and place
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Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:43 pm
by David Flower
the great flamenco label Nuevos Medios had their logo designed by Miró some 30 years ago. Through some connection or other Mario Pacheco somehow managed this scoop. With Mario's recent death the label has sadly ceased to exist

you can see it here in the top left hand corner

http://www.myspace.com/nuevosmediosdistro

Re: Miró at Tate Modern

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:32 pm
by garth cartwright
I finally caught the Miro show last week - thanks to Maxine Miller for the tickets! I've long been familiar with his work - even visited the Miro Foundation in Barcelona on my first trip to that city - but never seen a large retrospective like this.

Thoughts? Well, he essentially found his mature style in the late-1920s with wonderful works like The Farm that document a remembered rural Catalonia with all its energies and eccentricities feeding into a lyrical surrealism. He had a great feeling for earthy colours and situations and painted animals with a wit and brevity that positively sings. His push into a more abstract medium is successful when he keeps his wit and allows all kinds of symbolic shapes - often phallic - to come through and less so when he just colours in large areas of canvas.

A trip to New York in the late-1940s encouraged him to work on bigger canvases - rarely a good idea, like musicians thinking they should take longer, louder solos - and his later work devolves into a mix of self parody and poor imitation of the younger American artists. I can't agree with Des on the value of his burnt works - they striking me as reminescent of a lot of 60s era work where radical experimentation seemed to fit the mood but didn't do much for the artist's aesthetic. The final room where he attempts an epic Cy Twomblyish splatter triptyche is sad. But this is often the case for rich, famous artists who live long lives - his fellow Catalan Dali was a more radical and gifted painter but fell into self parody much faster.

No real surprises for me here - the Foundation Miro has lots of bad late work - but this retrospective is worth attending for the 1920s-1940s work and the quiet, lyrical, playful talent it reveals.