Galerie Maeght, Paris
Grace and Philip Sandblom
For Miró, women, birds, stars, the moon, the sun, the night sky and dusk formed a distinctive, poetic language. He first introduced the motif of a woman with a bird, in a realistic mode, in his paintings of 1917, but it was only after he completed his celebrated Constellations series in 1941, in which women, birds, and stars prominently appear, that this theme became the primary subject of hundreds of drawings, pastels, gouaches and paintings. With reference to the imagery embedded in his works, Miró made the following comment: "It might be a dog, a woman, or whatever. I don't really care. Of course, while I am painting, I see a woman or a bird in my mind, indeed, very tangibly a woman or a bird. Afterward, it's up to you" (Joan Miro and Georges Raillard, Ceci est la couleur de mes reves, Paris, 1977, p. 128).
During the 1960s, Miró experimented with painting on a wide variety of supports, including canvases fragments, sack cloth, wooden boards and masonite that were scored, burned and broken, newsprint, and even touristic paintings from local antique shops. For the present composition, Miró employed an irregularly shaped panel which he distressed in order to create a jarring juxtaposition between crisp, bright abstract forms and the archaic and antiqued background.
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