Inspired by the ancient cave paintings in Altamira, Northern Spain, this work reflects an integrity in creation which both artists yearned for. The coarse, tactile nature of the tile and rough application of the enamel is mitigated through the vibrant use of color. Miró employs his celebrated eye motif in this work, a recurring symbol of the artist’s Surrealist consciousness, but the nature of the subject's creation represents his departure from the consciously orchestrated Constellations series (1939-1942) to an unconscious development of figures where “Forms take reality…as I [Miró] work…rather than setting out to paint something, I begin painting, and as I paint, the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush” (quoted in Fundació Joan Miró, Joan Miró: 1893-1993, Barcelona, 1993, p. 22).
In 1944, the same year the present work was executed, Miró published an article titled From the Assassination of Painting to Ceramics vocalizing his vision for ceramics as a medium which would allow him to create huge murals in public spaces. These concepts came to life when Miró undertook several large-scale murals at Harvard University (1951), the UNESCO building in Paris (1958) and the University of St. Gallen (1964). This work represents an expression of Miró’s true creative experimentation and reveals one of his earliest explorations of a medium which became increasingly significant in the artist’s mature oeuvre.
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