This work is sold with a photo-certificate from Jacques Dupin dated Paris, le 20 Septembre 2001.
Miró ceased painting from the end of 1955 to 1959. In 1956 he adopted the estate of "Son Abrines" in Calamayor, near Palma on Mallorca, as his year-round residence, and architect Josep Lluís Sert built a new large studio for the artist there. Moving decades worth of work and getting accustomed to the new facilities required time, and the artist was also occupied with printmaking in Paris, and collaborating on ceramics with Josep Artigas and his son.
Having visited America for the first time in 1947, he returned there in 1959, and his second trip offered extensive exposure to the work of the New York artists, especially that of Robert Motherwell and the late Jackson Pollock. 'It showed me the liberties we can take, and how far we can go, beyond the limits. In a sense it freed me' (quoted in J. Dupin, Miró, New York, 1993, p. 303). Many American artists have acknowledged their debt to Miró, and it became Miró's turn to use their example in his work.
The American trip encouraged Miró to resume painting, and his production in the early 1960s turned prolific once again: '... What strikes us is an expressive violence that profoundly alters and often makes unrecognizable the calligraphy of signs... The heavy graphism, most often traced in an unbroken flow of black paint, does not repudiate Miró's world of forms, but it simplifies by greater vehemence of gesture; it is as though the painter were in a hurry to finish' (ibid., p. 303).
In the present work, the lines are painted with the broad sweep of the arm, and colour is applied as strategically placed dramatic accents. The artist's subjects are reduced to their essentials, having been transformed into ideograms. On the left a bird stands facing the viewer, its long tail straight up in the air behind it. The creature on the right is probably a cat stalking its prey in the dark. The eyes of the bird are wide open with alarm; those of the cat, great with expectation. With this simple confrontation Miró conjures up an eternal narrative of struggle in the natural world.