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Miro WOP Lot 1017
Joan Miro (1893-1983)
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Joan Miro (1893-1983)

L'oiseau parle à l'étoile pour guider le couple d'amoureux

Joan Miro (1893-1983)
L'oiseau parle à l'étoile pour guider le couple d'amoureux
signed 'Miró' (lower right); dated and titled '26 V. 81. L'oiseau parle à l'étoile pour guider le couple d'amoureux' (on the reverse)
gouache and charcoal on paper
29 ¾ x 22 ½ in. (75.6 x 57.2 cm.)
Executed on 26 May 1981
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1984.

Lot Essay

ADOM (Association pour la défense de l'oeuvre de Joan Miró) has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Executed on 26 May 1981, L'oiseau parle à l'étoile pour guider le couple d'amoureux (The Bird Talks to the Star to Guide the Two Lovers) displays the buoyant creativity that characterized Miró’s enthusiastic embrace of drawing towards the end of his career. Conjuring the presence of several of Miró’s most recurrent themes—fantastical characters, a bird and a star—the work combines enveloping, black gestural brushstrokes and vibrant areas of color.
The title of this work is, in its length, noticeably dissimilar from the brief appellations of a simple generic variety, such as femme, étoile et oiseau or merely peinture, that the artist often attached to his works. It is, in its relationship to the imagery in the painting, far more evocative and vivid. Miró stated in a 1959 interview with Yvon Tallandier: "I begin my paintings because something jolts me away from reality...I need a point of departure...This form gives birth to a series of things...When I give it a title, it becomes even more alive. I find my titles in the process of working, as one thing leads to another on my canvas. When I have found the title, I live in its atmosphere. The title then becomes completely real for me, in the same way that a model, a reclining woman, for example, can become real for another painter. For me, the title is a very precise reality" (quoted in M. Rowell, ed., Joan Miró, Selected Writings and Interviews, Boston, 1986, p. 249).
The imagery in Miró's title does not correlate entirely or directly with that in the present work; it is, for example, difficult to detect in the picture the two lovers or the trajectory which the bird takes to guide them. Miró has not necessarily intended that his titles should be specifically descriptive, and instead they stand on their own as a poetic analogue, serving as a point of departure from which one may muse upon the configuration of signs in the picture, and the ambiguities therein.

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