In the 1970s, Miró became increasingly devoted to his monumental and public works, such as sculptures, painted murals and large-scale mosaics. This new interest is manifest in the bold aesthetic of his graphic works of this period. Miró employed a reductive palette of black and mostly primary colors, with an emphasis on the thick, flat swathes of black that would increasingly come to dominate his composition as foreground elements. In the present work, this effect is rendered more extremely as black "arms" writhing from the bottom towards the top edge of the sheet occupy such a great area that they create an illusion of receding as an alternate background, sharing the same plane as the pale blue wash. Additionally, whereas in his early career Miró was noted for his suggestively poetic designs comprised of various iconic symbols, in the later years his work is more aggressively abstract. Here, along with assorted geometric shapes and distorted anthropomorphic figures, even Miró's trademark stars are exaggerated to the point of illegibility. In its striking dynamism and appealingly indelicate design, Composition (Homme, femme et oiseaux dans la nuit) gives the impression of a more genuine, spontaneous artist's expression: Miró unrestrained.
This work was a gift from the artist to his friend and collaborator Fred Siegenthaler. Siegenthaler was an illustrious paper artist, who first began creating art objects of paper in 1964. He began with colored hand crafted papers before beginning to experiment with making paper out of raw materials ranging from hay and plastic, to wasps' nests. Beginning in 1967, Siegenthaler developed fruitful working relationships with many notable artists and provided special papers to Marc Chagall and Meret Oppenheim, and subsequently in 1971, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler and Cy Twombly. Siegenthaler was a pioneer in his field and this work is dedicated directly to him.