On exhibit in Padua until July 22nd, a selection of works focused on the elaboration of materials and the physical naturalness of the supports used by the Catalan artist. Joan Miró.
“Little monsters” created with large ink brushstrokes in Indian ink, on canvases created with industrial materials: compressed and rough wood, packaging, scraps of boards used to soundproof rooms. And there is more – humanoid figures created with bags, fabrics – “poor” art [arte povera] that comes together with abstract art. These worky by Miró are perhaps not the easiest collection of the artist, today exhibited in Padua at Palazzo Zabarella until July 22nd.
You will not find the great works of Flemish taste (in the sense of Bosch), but rather the more cryptic and “Asian” works, looking towards the enigmatic power of ideograms. In this beautiful Venetian city, homage to the great Catalan painter arrives in the city passing through Portugal. With nearly ninety works on display, these pieces are all property of the Lisbon government, which ordered them and put them on display for the first time last year. In this collection a sculpture also stands out: a «Character» (this is the translation of the title) with a bizarre tubular shape.
An important testimony – Miró, in fact, was convinced to go down in history more as a sculptor (in this case of bronzes according to the lost wax technique). “In this way I realize real monsters – the artist confided in one circumstance – “in painting I do more conventional things”. Conventional perhaps in a manner of speaking: the exhibition, entitled “Materiality and metamorphosis”, despite not bringing the best-known Miró to the public, certainly offers the most experimental work of this artist. There are collages from the 1930s, wonderful inventions that are inspired by clippings of magazines and vintage advertising.
This was a technique that Miró had taken from the Cubists and the early Surrealists, subordinating it, however – unlike the inventors of the genre – to painting styles. Therefore, visitors can admire these advertisements transformed into ironic compositions that also reveal a political commitment. The Padua exhibition pays a great deal of attention, as we can see in the exhibit’s name, to material. There is no shortage of paintings created with sand and tar, which make up rough figures. Until we reach more daring works: a burnt canvas, which welcomes visitors as soon as they cross the threshold of the show. There is also a review of anthropomorphic figures that drift between something funny and something truly disturbing, made by gluing textile materials, then hung on wires like marionettes. Mirò baptized them «Sobreteixims», over and above.
The exhibit in Padua is not the only appointment with Miró’s art, already among the protagonists, in Italy, of the successful exhibition dedicated to avant-garde artists that took place in Bologna. In Mallorca, until 2019, there will be a special exhibition that explores the work of the surrealist painter, based on all that influenced him, from prehistoric graffiti to Japanese prints. This exhibit is held at the Miró Foundation in Cala Majorl, one of the best places to admire the works of this artist. Moreover, this is where he lived from 1956 until his death in 1983. In Mallorca, Miró had also set up a recently restored atelier, and he developed an impressive park in which he placed most of his sculptures, which can still be seen there. On another island in the Mediterranean, in Malta – to be precise in the capital Valletta – an exhibition will be held from April 7th to June 30th in which another Iberian great will be found side by side with Miró: Picasso. In all, this show consists of 150 works from the Mapfre Foundation and the Espacio Miró of Madrid.