JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
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JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
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PROPERTY FROM A MEMBER OF THE MATISSE FAMILY
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)

Femmes et oiseaux dans la nuit

Details
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
Femmes et oiseaux dans la nuit
oil and gouache on burlap
14 1/2 x 8 1/8 in. (36.9 x 20.5 cm.) (irregular)
Painted on 7 December 1945
Provenance
Pierre Matisse, New York.
By descent from the above to the present owner.
Literature
J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1961, p. 551, no. 668 (illustrated).
J. Dupin and A. Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró: Catalogue Raisonné, Paintings, 1942-1955, Paris, 2001, vol. III, p. 88, no. 766 (illustrated in color).

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Lot Essay

"Furthermore, I attach an even greater importance, as you can see, to the material of my works. A rich vigorous material is necessary, it seems to me, to give the viewer that smack full in the face that must hit him before reflection comes in. In this way, poetry, expressed plastically, speaks its own language" (M. Rowell, Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, Boston, 1986, p. 151).

As early as 1927, Miró began expanding his palette of materials and support, ultimately involving a vast array of both—mixing traditional art historical mediums with unconventional ones, sometimes even including found objects from the street or his studio. This contrast between the rudimentary and the sophisticated is recurring in the artist’s oeuvre. It plays an integral role in creating a sense of intimacy with the viewer, who is privy to Miró’s working method and yet must reflect, as stated above, to grasp the depth of his poetic language.
In the present work, the untouched, unstretched surface of burlap provides a raw and pure background for this dialogue to emerge. Describing the fine balance between authenticity and refinement specific to the artist, Jacques Dupin writes: “The extreme virtuosity, however, never calls attention to itself as such: this is because the artist always knew when to stop, when to renounce brilliancy of execution, when to lose the thread of discourse, when to fall silent and let the materials take over, expressing themselves freely; when to let the creatures of his imagination live their own lives.” (J. Dupin, Miró, exh. cat., Galerie Lelong, Paris, 1993, p. 262).
Femmes et oiseaux dans la nuit quite literally weaves together the threads of Miró’s discourse, regrouping the iconography he had first developed in the early 1940s with his Constellations series, as well as a career-long interest in material and the relationship between figure and ground.
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