Joan Miro Prints

Written by Serena Berger
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Joan Miro prints show a wide range of influences, blended by a masterful Spanish painter and synthesized with a playfully masculine humor. Surrealism was a particularly strong influence for Miro, but not, as you might expect, the surrealist's visual arts. It was actually surrealist poetry and writing that inspired Miro to move beyond his cubist and fauvist imitations into a mature style of his own.

Some of the most popular Joan Miro prints display his humorous take on surrealism. Harlequin's Carnival and Dutch Interior feature playfully distorted animals and odd geometric constructions. The backgrounds of many of Miro's paintings are flat and neutral; over time, he left more space empty, and his figures became more abstract.

Characteristics of Later Joan Miro Prints

A later work such as Animal Composition has gone far beyond these earlier depictions (or disfigurings) of animals. While you can make out a tail or paw, or even a dog's face if you try, the idea is that the animals are highly generalized. Forms and figures in almost all of Miro's later works are reduced to abstract spots, lines, and bursts of colors.

It would be remiss to discuss Joan Miro prints without referring to The Farm. Considered by many to be Miro's greatest work, it dates from about 1920, before the era of amoeboid forms, primary colors, and nonchalant curlicues. Ernest Hemingway (who loved Spain) purchased the actual painting and saw its stylistic duality as the source of its greatness. On the one hand is an almost primitively detailed documenting of physical reality, but on the other is a sophisticated arsenal of artistic techniques, which make it seem as though the image is remembered and fantasized in an ideal form that far transcends reality.


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