Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 7, 2008, lot 41)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Alain Jouffroy & Joan Teixidor, Miró Sculptures, Paris, 1980, no. 183, illustrated p. 127 (catalogued as unique)
Pere Gimferrer, The Roots of Miró, Barcelona, 1993, no. 1261, illustrated p. 407
Emilio Fernández Miró & Pilar Ortega Chapel, Joan Miró, Sculptures. Catalogue raisonné, 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, no. 210, illustration of another cast p. 209
With regard to the assembled sculptures, the artist explained, "Real objects, by being used, related and assembled in different manners, become unreal. The parts are familiar, yet the totality has a new life, a new meaning ... when they are cast in bronze, they take on a noble and timeless quality" (Miró Scupture, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1976). While Miró's bronzes from the 1940s were hand modeled and inspired by the work of Brancusi and an interest in primitive art, his bronzes cast from assembled found objects, according to Jacques Dupin, "Have their roots in Surrealist collage and Goya's Caprices, and incorporate the wonder of childhood wit and the rustic, rough humour of the Catalans. These assemblages favour the automatic association of images and fantasy" (E. Miró and P. Chapel, Joan Miró, Sculptures, Catalogue raisonné, 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, p. 21).
The archaic quality of the present bronze is further enhanced by its extraordinary patina. Working with the Parellada Foundry, "Miró chose a patina which preserved the rough and varied 'fire skin', or the unfinished surface of the bronze metal as it appears when emerging from the mould. This technique produced a variegated surface pattern, green in color, which imitated the accidental variations in surface resulting from the high temperatures reached in casting. This was a calculated effect, however, requiring as much effort on the part of the foundry artisans as more classically inspired surfaces" (William Jeffett, A Note on the techniques of Bronze Casting, Joan Miró Sculpture, South Bank Center Touring Exhibition, 1989-90, p. 19).
The present bronze was originally made by Miró as a unique sculpture created by the sand casting method at the Fundació Parellada in Barcelona. Later on, three additional bronzes were cast: one is in the collection of the Fundació Joan Miró and another at the Museu Nacional centro de Arte Reina Sofia. The present work is the first, unnumbered cast of this subject in bronze that was created during the artist's lifetime. It was sold by Miró's dealer Pierre Matisse to a private collection in New York, who later sold it at Sotheby's in 2008 to the present owner.
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