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

Oiseau I

Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Oiseau I
signed 'Miró' (lower right)
oil, pencil and newspaper collage on canvas
19 ½ x 14 ½ in. (49.5 x 36.8 cm.)
Executed on 30 August 1972
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, New York, 25 February 1992, lot 63.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, New York, 10 May 1995, lot 416.
María Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Buenos Aires.
Private collection, Buenos Aires, by descent from the above.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
J. Dupin & A. Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné, Paintings, vol. V, 1969-1975, Paris, 2003, no. 1450, p. 94 (illustrated).
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Lot Essay

From a very early stage in his lengthy career, Miró had always sought to experiment with the surface of his works using collage and different techniques to enhance the interplay of texture and media. As his career progressed this interest in building surface tension intensified, and the present work illustrates the deliberate choices he employed, in this case combining a section of un-stretched canvas with newsprint to create not simply a neutral surface, but rather one which is intentionally rough and prosaic.

In assessing Miró’s choice of materials in his later works, Schmalenbach has written: 'He was fascinated and inspired by all kinds of papers, and these served him as virtual "Readymades" and objets trouvés in the Dadaist and Surrealist sense. He might light upon some expensive rice paper or simply some discarded scrap, a piece of corrugated cardboard or packing paper, old envelopes or newspapers, or one of those round pieces of cardboard bakers place under cakes. This most spiritual artist has a distinctly sensual relationship with his materials' (W. Schmalenbach, 'Drawings of the Late Years', in Joan Miró: A Retrospective, exh. cat., New York, 1987, p. 51).

Oiseau I, dating from 1972, fully illustrates Miró's mature style where his personalised pictograms signifying women, or in this case a bird, had become highly expressive. The artist’s second visit to the United States in 1959 is often credited as the moment when his expressionist style became prevalent, thanks to the exposure he gained of the work of the New York artists, including Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock. The artist himself commented on the resulting influence of their work on his own: 'It showed me the liberties we can take, and how far we can go, beyond the limits. In a sense it freed me' (Miró quoted in J. Dupin, Miró, New York, 1993, p. 303).

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