- Joan Miró
- Femmes, oiseaux, étoiles
- Signed Miró (lower right); signed Joan Miró, titled Femmes, oiseaux, étoiles, inscribed Palma majorque and dated 25.5.1942 (on the verso)
- Pencil, pastel and gouache on paper
- 15 1/2 by 18 1/8 in.
- 39.3 by 46 cm
E.V. Thaw & Co., New York
The present work exemplifies the expressive power of images, even though they bear no faithful resemblance to the natural world. Miró is solely reliant upon the pictorial lexicon of signs and symbols that he developed over the years. A technique of primary importance in this painting is Miró’s expressive and exquisite use of line. Overall, his remarkable visual vocabulary strikes a perfect balance between abstraction and image-signs. His pictures from the mid-1940s are characterized by a sense of energy and movement; there is never a sense of stasis. Moreover, each work is the result of active and ongoing improvisation that renders a precise interpretation impossible. In fact, it was these compositions from the mid-1940s that would inspire the creative production of the Abstract Expressionist artists in New York. A few years after he executed this work, the artist offered creative advice to young painters, and his comments are an insight into the underlying motivations that inspired the present work: ‘He who wants to really achieve something has to flee from things that are easy and pay no attention to… artistic bureaucracy, which is completely lacking in spiritual concerns. What is more absurd than killing yourself to copy a highlight on a bottle? If that was all painting was about, it wouldn’t be worth the effort’ (quoted in M. Rowell, Joan Miró, Selected Writings and Interviews, Boston, 1986, p. 226).