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Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
Joan Miró (1893-1983)

Tête

Details
Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Tête
signed and numbered 'Miró 4/4' (on the right side of the base); inscribed with the foundry mark 'SUSSE FONDEUR. PARIS' (on the back of the base)
bronze with dark brown patina
Height: 86 5/8 in. (220 cm.)
Width: 49 ¼ in. (125 cm.)
Depth: 57 1/8 in. (145 cm.)
Conceived in 1974 and cast in an edition of four
Provenance
Galerie Maeght-Lelong, Zurich. 
Waddington Galleries, London.
Private collection, Palm Beach.
Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004.
Literature
Exh. cat., Joan Miró, Paris, 1974, no. 283, p. 160.
Exh. cat., Miró Sculpture, New York, 1976, no. 23 (another cast illustrated).
A. Jouffroy & J. Teixidor, Miró Sculptures, Paris, 1980, no. 278, p. 205.
Exh. cat., Miró Milano: pittura, scultura, ceramica, disegni, sobreteixims, grafica, Milan, 1981, p. 249.
Exh. cat., Miró escultor, Madrid, 1986, no. 104, p. 205 (another cast illustrated).
G. Frei, ed., exh. cat., Thirty Three Women, Zurich, 2003, no. 25 (illustrated).
E.F. Miró & P.O. Chapel, Joan Miró, Sculptures, Catalogue raisonné 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, no. 318, p. 301 (another cast illustrated p. 302).
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.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Anna Povejsilova
Anna Povejsilova

Lot Essay

Over two metres tall, Tête, 1974, is an ‘Assemblage-Sculpture’ by Joan Miró. Created from disparate, estranged objects, the work illustrates the artist’s playful imagination, as well as his ability to see heads, birds and women hidden in seemingly inconsequential elements. In Tête, Miró has transformed a rope buoy into a head: carved out of it, a teardrop-shaped cavity evokes a mouth, while – balanced precariously above – an old tool may represent an alert eye, whose round pupil seems to swing along its border while a handle is transformed into a single eye lash. Alternatively the form of Tête can be interpreted as an entire body and symbol of fecundity, the tear-shaped recess a typical Miróesque emblem of the female sex.

Inspired by the shape of an old buoy, Tête was probably created at Mont-roig. It was there that Miró used to explore the seashore, in search of unexpected gifts brought to him by chance and the movement of tides: wood planks, broken glass, plastic forms corroded by the salt of the sea. Indeed, it was from these sudden encounters that Miró’s sculptures were born. The artist’s friend Jacques Dupin explained: ‘These works began with Miró slipping out of his studio, unseen, only to return with an impromptu harvest of objects – his bounty – without value or use, but susceptible, in his view, of combinations and surprising metamorphoses. All these objects had been abandoned, thrown away or forgotten by nature and man alike, and Miró recognized them as his own. This refuse was the visionary’s secret treasure, his infinitely rich deposit of insignificant objects, still imbued with the smells of the beach, construction site, dump or port where they have been found’ (J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2012, p. 374). 

Miró’s selection process was mysterious and surprising. Dupin, who often accompanied the artist on his treasure hunts along the beach, was often unable to predict what would arouse the artist’s imagination, yet he sensed that, for Miró, this daily exercise was something more than a playful distraction: ‘Seizing a crushed old tin was for him an important act, a serious task. He was convinced that whatever his foot might stumble over on the edge of a path could very well overwhelm our world’ (ibid., p. 374). In this regard, sculptures such as Tête constitute real Post-War vestiges of one of the most remarkable and subversive strategies of Surrealism: the transformation of everyday, disregarded objects into poetic, meaningful images.

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