Art News

‘Miró’ At The Tate Modern ~ The First Retrospective of Miró in the UK in 50 Years

artwork: Joan Miró - "Femmes, Oiseau au Clair de Lune (Women and Bird in the Moonlight)", 1949 - Oil on canvas - 81.3 x 66 cm. From the Tate Modern collection, purchased 1951 © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris - "Miró", the first major retrospective of the artists work to be held in the UK for 50 years, is at the Tate Modern from 14 April to 11 September 2011.

London.- Joan Miró’s works come to London in the first major retrospective to be held in the UK for nearly 50 years. Renowned as one of the greatest Surrealist painters, filling his paintings with luxuriant colour, Miró worked in a rich variety of styles. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy more than 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints from moments across the six decades of his extraordinary career. ‘Miró’ will be on view at The Tate Modern from April 14th until September 11th 2011.

Joan Miró is among the most iconic of modern artists, using a language of symbols that reflects his personal vision, sense of freedom, and energy. The exhibition includes many of the key works that we know and love. It also shows that, behind the engaging innocence of his imagery, lies a profound concern for humanity and a sense of personal and national identity. Extraordinary works from different moments of his career celebrate his roots in his native Catalonia. The exhibition also traces an anxious and politically engaged side to Miró’s work that reflects his passionate response to one of the most turbulent periods in European history. Working in Barcelona and Paris, Miró tracked the mood of the Spanish Civil War and the first months of the Second World War in France.

Under the political restrictions of Franco’s Spain, Miró remained a symbol of international culture, and his grand abstract paintings of the late 1960s and early 1970s became a mark of resistance and integrity in the dying years of the regime. Telling the story of Miró’s life and the time he witnessed reveals a darker intensity to many of his works. This is a must-see exhibition for 2011, filled with astonishing, beautiful and striking paintings by one of the greats of modern art.

artwork: Joan Miró - "A Star Caresses the Breast of a Negress (Painting Poem)", 1938 - Oil on canvas - 129.5 x 194.3 cm. From the Tate Modern collection - © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011.

Located in central London on the banks of the river Thames, the Tate Modern is one of the family of four Tate galleries which display selections from the Tate Collection (named for Sir Henry Tate, a Victorian sugar merchant, whose donation formed the basis of the modern collection). Created in 2000 from a disused power station, the Tate Modern displays the national collection of international modern art, defined as art since 1900. By about 1990 it was clear that the Tate Collection had hugely outgrown the original Tate Gallery on Millbank. It was decided to create a new gallery in London to display the international modern component of the Tate Collection. For the first time London would have a dedicated museum of modern art. The Bankside power station had closed in 1982 and was available, a striking and distinguished building in its own right, it was in an amazing location on the south bank of the River Thames opposite St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London. An international architectural competition was held attracting entries from practices all over the world.

The final choice was Herzog and De Meuron, a relatively small and then little known Swiss firm (who have subsequently won the Pritzker Prize). A key factor in this choice was that their proposal retained much of the essential character of the building. The power station was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also created Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, University libraries in Oxford and Cambridge, Waterloo Bridge, and the design of the famous British red telephone box. The Tate Modern opened in 2000 and became an instant hit with visitors from worldwide. Designed to handle up to 2 million visitors a year, it rapidly became the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 5 million visitors every year. Further expansion of the gallery has been a priority for some time, and a new extension is scheduled to open in 2012. Also designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the new extension will take the form of a ziggurat or pyramid with a sloping brick facade to match the original building.

artwork: Joan Miró - "The Tilled Field", 1923–1924 - Oil on canvas - 66 x 92.7 cm. Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  © 2011 Successión Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY - This early painting, was Miró's first Surrealist masterpiece.

When completed, this will include galleries dedicated to photography, video, exhibitions and the community. The Tate collection of modern and contemporary art represents all the major movements from Fauvism onward. It includes important masterpieces by both Picasso and Matisse and one of the world’s finest museum collections of Surrealism, including works by Dalí, Ernst, Magritte and Mirò. Its substantial holdings of American Abstract Expressionism include major works by Pollock as well as the nine Seagram Murals by Mark Rothko. There is an in depth collection of the Russian pioneer of abstract art Naum Gabo, and an important group of sculpture and paintings by Giacometti. Tate has significant collections of Pop Art, including major works by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, also great examples of Minimal and Conceptual art. Tate also has particularly rich holdings of contemporary art since the 1980’s. Be sure to visit the museum’s website at: …