JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)
2 More
JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)
5 More
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)


JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)
signed and dated ‘Miró 2/4’ (on the front of the base); inscribed with foundry mark ‘SUSSE FONDEUR. PARIS’ (on the back of the base)
bronze with black patina
Height: 81 in. (205.7 cm.)
Conceived in 1975
Galerie Maeght-Lelong, Paris.
Waddington Galleries, London (acquired from the above, 1984).
Private collection, Switzerland.
Anon. sale, Sotheby’s, London, 7 December 1999, lot 59.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner.
A. Jouffroy and J. Teixidor, Miró Sculptures, Paris, 1980, p. 206, no. 280 (another cast illustrated).
E.F. Miró and P.O. Chapel, Joan Miró: Sculptures, catalogue raisonné, 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, p. 318, no. 336 (another cast illustrated in color).
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. Where Christie's has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie's therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. The third party will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk based on a fixed fee if the third party is the successful bidder or on the final hammer price in the event that the third party is not the successful bidder. The third party may also bid for the lot above the written bid. Third party guarantors are required by us to disclose to anyone they are advising their financial interest in any lots they are guaranteeing. However, for the avoidance of any doubt, if you are advised by or bidding through an agent on a lot identified as being subject to a third party guarantee you should always ask your agent to confirm whether or not he or she has a financial interest in relation to the lot.

Brought to you by

Max Carter
Max Carter Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas

Lot Essay

Statue is one of the monumental sculptures that Joan Miró created in the final, triumphant phase of his career. Having worked predominantly in two-dimensions, over the course of the last two decades of his life he embraced sculpture as a means of furthering his distinctive artistic vision. While with painting, Miró conveyed his imaginary world of signs and forms onto the surface of the canvas, in his sculpture, he started out with the tangible reality of his material and turned these into objects fuelled and inspired by his powerful imagination.
In the present work, Miró has transformed one of his frequently appearing personnages into a totemic, monumental form. A circular shaped head stands atop a massive, rectangular plinth-like form. The artist has rendered the figure’s eyes and protruding nose, leaving no doubt that this is a portrayal of a figure.
Despite its large, ascendant scale, this work was paradoxically born from one of the artist’s ceramic pieces, titled Figurine, which he created in 1956. In the early 1950s, Miró returned to the studio of Josep Llorens Artigas, situated in the small village of Gallifa, near Barcelona, and began to work on ceramics once more. Seeking to go beyond the traditional boundaries of the medium, Miró took inspiration from the natural world that surrounded him, as well as from his own imagination. As he stated in an interview in 1951, “It is sculpture that interests me. For example: it rains, the ground gets wet, I pick up some mud—it becomes a little statuette. A pebble might determine a form for me” (quoted in “Interview with Georges Charbonnier,” 1951, in M. Rowell, ed., Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, London, 1986, p. 221).
It was with Artigas that Miró truly realized the potential of sculpture and of working in three-dimensional form. There, Miró found an artistic paradise where he created a host of abstracted, fantastical figures and heads, as well as objects, which were transformed through the process of firing, into a living cast of characters. “They seem more powerful to me,” Miró described of his work of this time, “enriched by my experiences as a man and a painter” (quoted in R. Bernier, “Miró as Ceramicist,” in L’Oeil, Paris, May 1956, in ibid., p. 236).
While the ceramic Figurine stood at around 20cm high, Miró already had a monumental vision in mind: "I worked in a monumental spirit, dreaming about a possible connection with architecture” (ibid., p. 236). It was not until a few decades later that he fully realized this desire in the form of the present Statue, which takes on a magisterial, dominant presence as it presides powerfully over its setting.

More from Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection Part II

View All
View All