JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
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JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
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JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)

Femme aux trois cheveux, constellation

Details
JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)
Femme aux trois cheveux, constellation
signed 'Miró' (lower right); signed again, dated and titled on the reverse 'Miró 26/VII/76 Femme aux 3 cheveux Constellation' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
10 7/8 x 7 3/4 in. (27.8 x 19.6 cm.)
Painted on 26 July 1976
Provenance
Private collection, Spain.
Anon. (acquired from the above); sale, Koller Auktionen, Zurich, 8 December 2017, lot 3259.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
J. Dupin and A. Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró: Catalogue Raisonné, Paintings, 1976-1981, Paris, 2004, vol. VI, p. 84, no. 1809 (illustrated in color).

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Lot Essay

Miró continued to paint up until the final five years of his life, making his final oil on canvas in 1978, just two years after creating the present Femme aux trois cheveux, constellation (J. Dupin, Miró, exh. cat., Galerie Lelong, Paris, 1993, p. 351). The intensity of these late, densely painted works culminate the artist’s lifelong experimentation with space and color, or the absence thereof. As Jim Coddington writes, “His use, or nonuse of ground in some ways paralleled his interest in canvas: a material commonly found in paintings but rarely seen or acknowledged. Here too, he reversed the relationship of ground to paint and canvas, making the ground integral to the composition rather than relegating it to a merely structural supporting role" (A. Umland, Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting, 1927-1937, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, p. 19).
Like a magician, the artist uses the composition’s structural ambiguity to reveal or conceal figures. The Femme portraited here is dissected into anthropomorphic parts (two eyes, a nose, three distinct hair strands) as well as abstract ones (curves, a blue speck, negative space), all equally important. Upon closer or prolonged observation, discernable shapes emerge from what initially appeared to be a black mass invading the canvas plane. Miró's Surrealist appeal to the viewer’s imagination gives simple forms an expressive power that questions the need for conventional portraiture entirely.
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