Painting bears an enigmatic relation to reality and, with its radical use of collage and metal support, exemplifies Miró’s aim to challenge traditional painting. Biomorphic forms oscillate between figuration and abstraction in a kinaesthetic composition that embodies the artist’s conviction that: ‘The painting must be fertile. It has to give birth to a world. It doesn’t matter if you see flowers in it, figures, horses, as long as it reveals a world, something living’ (quoted in Joan Miró, 1893-1993 (exhibition catalogue), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1993, p. 426). A rhythmic play of organic shapes and vibrant primary colours are juxtaposed against subtle grey, inviting the viewer to engage with the artwork as both dynamic representation and material object.
Georges Hugnet, designer and critic, acquired the present work directly from the artist himself. Hugnet, who, like Miró, was a friend to Pablo Picasso, became affiliated with the Surrealist circle in 1926 and officially joined the group the year after Painting (March 1931) was produced. In 1933, Hugnet published Enfances, the first book to be illustrated with etchings by Miró.
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