Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Joan Miró (1893-1983)


Joan Miró (1893-1983)
indistinctly signed and dated 'Miró. 1926.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
8 5/8 x 6¼ in. (21.9 x 15.8 cm.)
Painted in 1926
Galerie Berggruen, Paris.
Galerie Urban, Paris.
Anonymous sale, Christie's London, 1 July 1999, lot 644.
Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
J. Dupin & A. Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné, Paintings, vol. I, 1908-1930, Paris, 1999, no. 199, p. 156 (illustrated).
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.

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Lot Essay

Executed in 1926, Peinture belongs to Joan Miró's groundbreaking series of 'oneiric' or 'dream paintings' which the artist produced in Paris between 1925 and 1927. Revolutionary in their stark and daringly empty compositions, Peinture is a particularly lyrical example in which enigmatic forms and a delicate calligraphic line ethereally float upon a monochromatic blue ground. 'I wanted', Miró explained of these mysterious works, 'my spots to seem only open to the magnetic appeal of the void, to make themselves available to it. I was very interested in the void, in perfect emptiness. I put it into my pale and scumbled grounds, and my linear gestures on top were the signs of my dream progression' (Miró, quoted in D. Chevalier, 'Miró' in Aujourd'hui: art et architecture, Paris, November 1962, reproduced in M. Rowell, ed., Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, London, 1987, p. 264).

The radically simplified vocabulary of forms and exploration of liberated space manifest in Peinture developed out of Miró's urge to purify his painting and capture a primordial essence. Peinture and Miró's other lyrical blue-ground paintings of the time also reflect the profound impact which poetry and the nascent Surrealist movement exerted upon the artist. From 1921 to circa 1926, Miró worked in the extraordinarily stimulating environment of 45, rue Blomet where poets and writers gathered in André Masson's neighbouring studio. Miró was to later declare that, 'The rue Blomet was a divine place, a decisive moment for me. It was there that I discovered everything that I am, everything I would become' (Miró, quoted in 'Memories of the rue Blomet', transcribed by J. Dupin, 1977, reproduced ibid., p. 100).

The remarkable freedom and apparent spontaneity of Miró's 'dream paintings' led critics to believe that they were the product of a process of automatism - a technique used by the Surrealists to facilitate the flow of images from the unconscious mind. Miró's profusion of drawings, however, indicate that these paintings were largely derived from sketches, themselves possibly the result of this automatist process and a heightened receptivity to marks and stains on his studio wall the artist claimed was derived from hunger-induced hallucinations: 'I was drawing almost entirely from hallucinations. Hunger was a great source of these hallucinations. I would sit for long periods looking at the bare walls of my studio trying to capture these shapes on paper' (Miró, quoted in J. Johnson Sweeney, 'Joan Miró; Comment and Interview' in Partisan Review, New York, February 1948, reproduced ibid., p. 208).

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