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Joan Miró

June 30, 2018–August 11, 2019

“I want to assassinate painting.” With this radical declaration, Spanish painter Joan Miró revolted against traditional painting. Explore some of his most aggressively experimental works—or as he called them, “anti-paintings”—in this installation.

Working in Catalonia (in northeast Spain) and in Paris, Joan Miró established himself as a leading painter of the Surrealist movement by 1925. His paintings and “anti-paintings” were a focus for American collectors A. E. Gallatin and Walter and Louise Arensberg. Their gifts form the core of the museum’s collection of fourteen major canvases by the artist.

Miró staged his revolt against traditional painting in a variety of ways. Sometimes he took away recognizable subject matter and exposed raw canvas. At other times he painted in a wild and expressive way, using vigorous brushwork and vibrant color to render forms evoking both the dream and natural worlds.

Miró had studied under a traditional landscape painter as a teenager and, despite his antipathy to perspective and other established painting techniques, he continued to imaginatively portray the Spanish countryside in works.

Main Building


Alexander Kauffman, The Andrew W. Mellon–Anne d’Harnoncourt Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, with Matthew Affron, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art

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