Lot 398
  • 398

Joan Miró

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Joan Miró
  • signed with the monogram (lower left); signed Miró, titled and dated 1/6/1960 on the reverse
  • oil and collage on paper laid down on board


Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Acquavella Modern Art Gallery, Nevada
Kazumasa Katsuta, Japan (acquired by 1993)


Yvon Taillandier, Creación Miró 1961, Barcelona, 1962, illustrated in colour p. 53
Fundació Joan Miró, Joan Miró 1893-1993, Barcelona 1993,  no. 213, illustrated p. 434 (titled Ocell)

Catalogue Note

By 1960, when Miró created this work, the artist had fully absorbed the techniques and aesthetic agenda of the Abstract Expressionists. His first introduction to these influences was nearly a decade earlier in New York in 1947, and the experience, the artist would later recall, was like a blow to the solar plexus. Several young painters, including Jackson Pollock, were crediting Miró as their inspiration for their wild, paint-splattered abstractions. In the years that followed, he created works that responded to the enthusiasm of this new generation of American painters and the spontaneity of their art.

Pierre Matisse, the first owner of the present work, had exclusive rights of representation of Miró's work in North America. As John Russell recalled, the relationship between Pierre Matisse and Miró's work had not been instantaneous. The dealer once said that when he first saw Miró's work, it did not attract his curiosity. "And then in 1928 his dealer Pierre Loeb gave me a painting as a bait. There was a blue star and a red dot. I thanked him and put it away in my closet. I just didn't get it. Then one day I went to the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. I suddenly became indifferent and suspicious. I thought that none of those paintings meant anything [...]. I came home, terribly depressed. I took everything off the wall. In the closet I saw the Miró [...]. I did not need to know what it was about. It was a revelation. Life was bursting out everywhere" (quoted in John Russell, Matisse Father and Son, New York, 1999, p. 111).