Artist as Activist: United Kingdom’s Tate Modern to Show Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

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LONDON (REUTERS).- Civil war was raging in Spain, bombs were exploding in Guernica, and Spanish artist Joan Miro, stranded in Paris, was painting “Still Life with Old Shoe,” where psychedelic colors spilled into everyday objects to create a scene of nightmare. Miro’s engagement with, and sometimes savage reaction to, the world around him underpins Tate Modern’s “Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape,” the first major exhibition of his work in London in almost 50 years. The title of the exhibition, which opens in April 2011, is borrowed from Miro himself: the Ladder of Escape reappears in paintings and sculptures throughout his life as a ladder standing straight up and leading into the sky. “We’ve chosen the Ladder of Escape in our title because … it shows this ambiguity, the sense of being rooted in the world but trying to escape into something more ethereal,” said Matthew Gale, a curator at the museum. “At certain moments, Miro is really engaged with political ideas. And at other t