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« Poetry and light » at the Fondation de l’Hermitage in Lausanne allows us to discover the creative youthfulness of the final years of Joan Miró (1893-1983).

Joan Miró, Sans titre, n. d., Encre, gouache et pastel sur papier, 33,5 x 44,5 cm  Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca, Photo Joan Ramón Bonet & David Bonet / Courtesy Archivo Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca © Successió Miró / 2013, ProLitteris, Zurich

After he moved to Palma, Majorca when he was already 60, his works gained a new vibrancy and freshness that the exhibition of 80 works from the Foundation Pilar i Joan Miró reveal.

“It was a dream of his to build a studio at the heart of nature, where he could engage in a jubilatory exploration of paint and matter,” said Sylvie Wuhrmann, Hermitage’s Director and general commissioner of the show. “It was in Palma that he regained the youth of his beginnings.”

Wuhrmann then explained how Miró had been deeply impressed by American Abstract Expressionism, which sparked in him the desire to obtain: “a maximum of intensity with a minimum of means”.

“What we have here is a Miró who really dares and who regains the spontaneity of his origins,” she added, paying a tribute to his “unbelievable concentration of energy”.

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Intérieur de l’atelier de Joan Miró réalisé par Josep Lluis Sert, 1973, Photo Francesc Català-Roca

The Majorca studio is the core of the exhibition, Elvira Cámara, Director of the Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation pointed out: “It gives the spirit of the artist, because although he was already a mature artist, he wanted to go ‘beyond’ the canvas.”

Not only did his paintings expand in size, Miró also experimented with ceramics and made sculptures out of all sorts of materials, including bronze, wood and terracotta.

At the opening, Elvira Cámara stared wistfully out the windows of the Hermitage, saying how “the exhibition was beautifully connected with the outside”, just like the studio in Palma.

The intimacy of the Lausanne venue indeed contributes to the expansion of Miró’s “Poetry and Light”. The striking simplicity and harmony allows the spontaneous strokes and spots to dance off the canvases and the sculptures to spill their joyful presence into the rooms.

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Joan Miró, Sans titre, vers 1973, Acrylique et fusain sur toile, 215,5 x 173,5 cm , Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca © Successió Miró / 2013, ProLitteris, Zurich, Photo Joan Ramón Bonet & David Bonet / Courtesy Archivo Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca 

A series of black and white paintings adorn the walls of the last room on the bottom floor, a genial tribute to Japanese calligraphy by Miró following the trips he made to Japan in 1966 and 1969.

“I am 100% instinctive, like a pianist,” Miró has been quoted as saying. The works on show in Lausanne prove the playful power of his instinct.

Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation curator: María Luisa Lax Cacho
26 June – 27 October 2013

Fondation de l’Hermitage
Foundation Pilar i Joan Miró

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Joan Miró, Sans titre, n. d., gouache et encre sur papier, 18,8 x 14,7 cm , Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca, Photo Joan Ramón Bonet & David Bonet / Courtesy Archivo Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca © Successió Miró / 2013, ProLitteris, Zurich

Michèle Laird, née Haffner, trained as a journalist, became an international arts administrator (visual arts and theatre), successively in Paris, New York and London before moving to Switzerland, where she now covers the art beat and presides several associations.

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