Lot 37
  • 37

Joan Miró

2,500,000 - 3,500,000 USD
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  • Joan Miró
  • Composition (Projet pour un mural de céramique destiné au Wilhelm-Hack-Museum de Ludwigshafen, Allemagne)
  • Oil, gouache, pencil and wax crayon on paper mounted on canvas
  • 38 5/8 by 220 1/4 in.
  • 98.2 by 559.4 cm


Estate of the artist

José Artigas, Barcelona (acquired from the above)

Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above in 2002 and sold: Christie's, London, February 6, 2007, lot 49)

Acquired at the above sale 


Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2012, p. 398

Catalogue Note

Joan Miró first met Llorens Artigas in 1917; their friendship quickly deepened and, on Miró’s arrival in Paris in 1920, Artigas welcomed him and served as his guide. It was not until decades later, in the early 1940s, that Miró and Artigas would first collaborate together on ceramic works. Initially these pieces were traditional in their shape. Between 1941 and 1944 a series of vases around twelve inches in height were fired with hand-painted figures, stars, moons and suns in tones of black, red, white, green and blue on brown and tan stoneware bases. These were followed by sculpted creatures and whimsical tiles, the incorporation of natural forms such as seashells and found stones, “antiplates” and works designed to look like shards and fragments of larger compositions. Then in 1956 they created their first monumental work together, Portique (Miró & Artigas no. 277), a large doorway constructed of earthenware measuring over 100 inches in height, now in the collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The year following, in 1957, Miró received a commission from UNESCO to create two murals for its headquarters in Paris, entitled Mur de soleil and Mur de la lune.  Joan Punyet Miró & Joan Gardy Artigas described the process of creating these murals: “Comprised of ceramic plates assembled and fixed to a cement support, the mural ceramics constitute walls of various heights and lengths, some measuring over fifty meters. The stoneware plates would be laid out on the ground providing Miró with a surface to paint. After being taken apart and laid out separately in the kiln for firing, the plates were reassembled directly on site” (J. P. Miró & J. G. Artigas, Joan Miró & Josep Llorens Artigas, Ceramics. Catalgoue Raisonné 1941-1981, Paris, 2007, p. 351).

In 1976 the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany commissioned a monumental mural from Miró to adorn the façade of its new building. The Museum was founded after Wilhelm Hack donated his art collection to the city of Ludwigshafen in 1971. Combining the collection of the city with that of Hack, this new museum opened to the public in 1979, with a primary focus of its collection on the development of non-representational art from the early twentieth century to the present day.  Discussing Miró’s planning for this massive mural, Jacques Dupin states: “The problem of a large surface…arose again in 1976 for a frontispiece (39 feet 4 ½ inches by 196 feet by 10 ¼ inches) for the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany…. In his sketches he took into account the work’s dimensions and the viewer’s perception of the work from a distance. This yielded a consciously charged, powerful composition with strong colors, intricate forms, and an accelerated rhythm: it is, in a sense, a panoramic vision or a Miró-highway” (J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2012, p. 398). In Composition (Projet pour un mural de céramique destiné au Wilhelm-Hack-Museum de Ludwigshafen, Allemagne) the bright color contrasts of yellow, green, blue, red and black captivate the eye and take into account the natural movement of light over the surface of the ceramic plates that form the mural in its entirety.