Joan Miro Biography

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Joan Miró (1893–1983)

Spanish (Catalan) artist, born in Barcelona. Son of a goldsmith, after some years as a clerk, he suffered a breakdown, then devoted himself to art, working as painter, sculptor, lithographer, engraver, ceramicist, costume designer and in stained glass. He worked with the French Dadaists for a time, later joined André Breton’s Surrealist group and designed settings and costumes for *Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

His familiar style, internationally recognised from the 1940s, had a variety of influences ranging from Paleolithic cave art  , *Bosch, van *Gogh, *Klee, the Fauves and Cubists, and the experiences of dreams and hallucinations (some induced by hunger). It was an art of hieroglyphs and symbols painted with strokes and spots in primary colours, red, blue, yellow, usually against a green or black background.

He preferred to work on a large scale as in his TheWall of the Moon and The Wall of the Sun, in ceramic tiles, for the UNESCO building, Paris (1957) and a mural at Barcelona airport (1969). After 1945 he divided his time between Majorca, Barcelona and Paris.

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