Galerie Tarica, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owners
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Elan vital oder das Auge des Eros, 1994, no. 453, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Miró, ‘ceci est la couleur de mes rêves,’ 1997, no. 11, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Stockholm, Moderna Museet & Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum, Joan Miró, Creator of new worlds, 1998, nos. 13 & 10, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Koblenz, Ludwig Museum, Deutschland-Frankreich, Dialoge der Kunst um XX Jahrundert, 1999, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Vienna, Kunstforum, Miró, Spater Rebelle, 2001, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Paris, Grand Palais & Barcelona, Paris-Barcelone, 2002, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Dusseldorf, Kunstpalast, Joan Miró, 2002, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Barcelona, MACBA, Arte y Utopia, la accion restringada, 2004-05, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Barcelona, MACBA & Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes, Paris i els surrealistes, 2005, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Copenhagen, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Miro : I work like a gardener, 2010, illutrated in color in the catalogue
Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró, Catalogue raisonné, Paintings, vol. 1, Paris, 1999, no. 128, illustrated in color p. 114
Constana Rubini & Frederic Bodet, The Little Book of Miró, Paris, 2004, illustrated in color pp. 12-13
It was in 1924, a year before the present work was painted, that the Surrealist movement was launched with the publication of André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto. Miró was among the artists who joined the group in the early days, and Breton commented: "Miró's stormy adherence in 1924 marks an important date in the development of Surrealist art. Miró, who at that time had put behind him an art less evolved in spirit, but which displays first-class plastic qualities, at one leap jumped over the last obstacles still barring the way to total spontaneity of expression. From that moment on his production testifies to an innocence and a freedom which have not been surpassed. It may be argued that his influence on Picasso, who joined Surrealism two years later, was largely determining" (A. Breton, quoted in J. Dupin, op. cit., 1962, p. 153). The credo of the Surrealist painters was rooted in a belief “in the future resolution of the two states seemingly so contradictory, which are dream and reality, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality” (André Breton, Manifestos of Surrealism, Ann Arbor, 1972).
Bonheur d’aimer ma brune belongs to a series of paintings from 1925 known as “poem-paintings,” in which poetic allusions, graphic signs, and painterly expression were presented within a single composition. His choice usage of imaginative titles, or in the case of the present work, colorful inscriptions, invested his pictures with a narrative that shaped the viewer's understanding. With this tactic, Miró's ambigious forms took shape in the imagination of his audience. In the present work, for example, the figures are understood to be a kissing couple, perhaps serenaded by the stringed instrument to their left.
“The discovery of Surrealism coincided for me with a crisis in my own painting and the decisive turning that … caused me to abandon realism for the imaginary," Miró would later write. "I spent a great deal of time with poets, because I thought you had to go beyond the plastic thing to reach poetry. Surrealism freed the unconscious, exalted desire, endowed art with additional powers… I painted as if in a dream, with the most total freedom" (quoted in Joan Miró (exhibition catalogue), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1993, pp. 180 and 194).
Miró's involvement in the world of poetry led to his friendship with the renowned poet and novelist Raymond Queneau (1903-1976), who was the first owner of the present work and briefly a member of the Surrealist group. Miró and Queneau collaborated on several projects together over the years, each combining their talents as visual artist and wordsmith. The present composition, which is among the more text-infused of Miró's paintings, remained in Queneau's collection until it was acquired by the present owner.
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