Joan Miro - Summer Wave Paris Thursday, August 3, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Mayoral Galleria d'Art, Barcelona
    Connaught Brown, London
    Private Collection, Paris (acquired from the above in 2012)

  • Literature

    Jacques Dupin and Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró. Catalogue raisonné. Drawings. Volume III: 1960-1972, Paris, 2012, no. 2215, p. 260 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Considered one of the most influential avant-garde artists of the 20th Century, the Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist Joan Miró was notable for his interest in dreams and the subconscious. Inspired by the Surrealists’ approach to art making, who sought to ‘express the actual functioning of thought in the absence of any control exercised by reason’ through psychic automatism, he was among the first artists to adopt a method of spontaneous drawing that attempted to unlock the inner workings of the human psyche. Joan Miró grew to be regarded as one of the leading figures of Surrealism, although he was never officially part of the group.

    In his eight-decade-long career, Miró constantly experimented with a wide array of mediums and techniques, seeking to defy academicism and to create art that would stand as pure and global, existing beyond the limits of any known movement or aesthetic trend. His uniquely playful and poetic mindscapes combine abstract motifs with a universe of recurring dream-like elements such as birds, dancers, eyes, stars and the moon. Deeply attached to the emotional landscapes of the small Catalan town of Mont-roig, the island of Majorca, Paris, and later on New York and Japan, Miró’s intricate compositions are filled with personal symbols and memories. The blend of intentionality and spontaneity is at the heart of his distinctive visual vocabulary; ‘Rather than setting out to paint something, I begin painting and as I paint, the picture begins to assert itself.’ Executed in 1970, the present work on paper is a sublime example of Miró’s imaginative and symbolic use of line, colour and shape. Featuring a signature abstract compositions of thick black strokes and vibrant primary colours, the artist’s acclaimed lyrical language is immediately recognizable.

    Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1893, Miró has received numerous prestigious awards, such as the Grand Prize for Graphic Work at the 1954 Venice Biennale, has been featured in multiple high-profile retrospectives at renowned public institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in 1941 and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in 1962, and has established a museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, in 1975. His work is held in the collections of leading public institutions, including the Museum of Modern art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, among others.


Sans titre

signed 'Miro' lower right and dated '27/IX/70' on the reverse
gouache, ink and wax crayon on card
52 x 65.5 cm (20 1/2 x 25 3/4 in.)
Executed on 27 September 1970, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, dated 12 July 2011.

Price On Request

Summer Wave