The frenetic expressiveness of the artist’s brushwork here calls to mind the works of Willem de Kooning completed around the same time. After his trip to New York in 1947, Miró became acquainted with the art of the Abstract Expressionists and was fascinated by their techniques and their aesthetic agenda. As the artist later recalled, the experience of seeing canvases of the Abstract Expressionists was like “a blow to the solar plexus.” Several young painters, including Jackson Pollock, were crediting Miró as their inspiration for their wild, paint-splattered canvases. In the years that followed he created works that responded to the enthusiasm of this younger generation of American painters and the spontaneity of their art. It was also under their influence that he started painting on a large scale, such as in the present work. The paintings he created from the early 1950s onwards are a fascinating response to these new trends of abstraction, while at the same time showing Miró’s allegiance to his own artistic pursuits.
By the time he completed the present work in 1974, Miró’s composition had gained a level of expressive freedom and exuberance that evidenced his confidence in his craft. Images of women, stars, birds and moons were omnipresent in his pictures to the point that these elements became memes for the artist’s own identity. Jacques Dupin elaborated on the semiotic importance of the figuration in these late paintings, “[t]he sign itself was no longer the image’s double, it was rather reality assimilated then spat out by the painter, a reality he had incorporated then liberated, like air or light. The importance of the theme now depended on its manner of appearing or disappearing, and the few figures Miró still endlessly named and inscribed in his works are the natural go-between and guarantor of the reality of his universe. It would perhaps be more fruitful to give an account of those figures that have disappeared than of the survivors.” (ibid. pp. 339-40)
Miró's own reflection on the artistic process further articulates his late style: "... silence is denial of a noise - but the smallest noise in the midst of silence becomes enormous. The same process makes me look for noise hidden in silence, the movement in immobility, life in inanimate things, the infinite and the finite, forms in a void, and myself in anonymity." (M. Rowell, ed., Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, London, 1987, p. 253) Miró builds the present composition using a pictorial lexicon of signs and symbols, while still referencing recognizable objects, in this case, human figures. Working with thick lines and monochromatic spaces as his central compositional elements, Miró fully explored the possibilities of movement within a two-dimensional field.
The influence of Abstract Expressionism compelled Miró to begin painting on a large scale, requiring the construction of a massive studio in Palma by the Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert. The paintings he created from the early 1950s onwards are a fascinating response to these new trends of abstraction, while at the same time showing Miró's allegiance to his own artistic pursuits. By the late 1960s, Miró had become well-versed in the art of rendering his aesthetic ideas on a large-scale format. As was the case for most of these late works, the artist completed the picture in his studio in Palma de Mallorca, where the warm Mediterranean sunlight and invigorating sea air enlivened his desire to paint bold and exuberant oils.
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