• The Leslie Waddington Collecti auction at Christies

    Sale 14175

    The Leslie Waddington Collection

    4 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 21

    Joan Miró (1893-1983)

    Sans titre


    Joan Miró (1893-1983)
    Sans titre
    signed and dated '13.10.930. Joan Miró' (on the reverse)
    pencil on paper
    18 1/8 x 24 1/2 in. (46 x 62 cm.)
    Executed on 13 October 1930

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    This work is sold with a photo-certificate from Jacques Dupin.

    ‘Miró’s line has never been surer or freer, and it is at the same time dominated by consciousness of form. The music of the lines combines with the plasticity of the figures to produce effects of ease and elegance’. J. Dupin

    Sans titre is one of a large series of finely rendered, poetic and gently playful works that Joan Miró executed on 13th October 1930. With a seemingly effortless ease and complete assuredness of line, Miró has depicted a composition of geometric lines and sweeping arabesques, featuring some of the distinctive motifs of the artist’s idiosyncratic pictorial language that had appeared in his work of the 1920s, and would continue to remerge throughout his career.

    Miró spent the summer and much of the autumn of 1930 in Montroig. It was here that the artist commenced two distinctly contrasting series of works: the series of drawings of which the present work is part, and a group of three-dimensional, wooden objects, known as the ‘constructions’. As he wrote to his friend, the Catalan writer and critic, Sebastiá Gasch from Montroig in October, ‘I am working very hard, and it is a shame it won’t be possible for me to show you all these sculptures… but on the other hand, you will see the very large series of drawings which will also be something very important’ (Miró, quoted in C. Lanchner, Joan Miró, exh. cat., New York, 1993, p. 328).

    At this time, Miró was intensely questioning painting – challenging every part of his pictorial practice: the materials he used, his style, as well as his inherent skill as an artist, in what is known as his ‘assassination of painting’. While the ‘constructions’ of this summer were created from austere pieces of wood, fixed together with nails, impersonal, abstract and expunged of any evidence of the artist’s own hand, Sans titre and the rest of this series present the very antithesis of these radical works. With a striking simplicity and purity of form, this drawing not only demonstrates Miró’s innate draughtsmanship, but also serves as an intimate glimpse into the artist’s imagination, the strange, surreal forms seeming to dance across the paper with a playful vitality.

    The sense of playful ebullience that the interlocking, geometric forms and curving arabesques of Sans titre exude could also be seen to reflect the artist’s joy at being with his young bride, Pilar Juncosa, whom he had married in October 1929. Many of the drawings in this series present the figure of a woman or a couple. The flowing, dynamic lines and playful forms are, as Jacques Dupin suggests, a reflection of the happy contentment of the artist. As he writes, ‘we seem to be sharing the joyousness of a lover less concerned with immobile contemplation than with providing accompaniment for the infinite movement of grace, setting it down at separate moments as unique caprices’ (J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1993, p. 160).

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Jacques Lassaigne, Paris.
    Darius Glowacki, New York.
    Galerie Olsson, Stockholm.
    Waddington Galleries, London, by whom acquired in June 1992.
    Acquired from the above by Leslie Waddington in 1992.


    J. Dupin & A. Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Drawings, 1907-1937, Paris, 2008, vol. I, p. 162, no. 327 (illustrated).