Born in Barcelona, Catalan artist Joan Miró has earned international acclaim as one of the leading Surrealist artists. Miró moved to Paris in 1920, returning to Spain periodically in the summer. He lived in Paris up until the beginning of the Second World War, when he fled back to Catalonia.
Miró pioneered a distinct style founded upon the surrealist practice of automatism – a method of “random” drawing that attempted to express the subconscious workings of the human psyche. Yet, whilst some of his Surrealist contemporaries rejected objectivity, Miró maintained a schematic visual language in which certain motifs recur, such as birds, stars, eyes, the moon and the sun. Colours and forms are loaded with symbolic meanings, rather than interpreted literally.
Miró’s artistic legacy can be traced directly through his influence on Arshile Gorky, whose bold, linear canvases proved an indelible inspiration for the Abstract Expressionists. There is a museum dedicated to the artist in Barcelona, The Fundació Joan Miró, and his work is perennially the subject of major exhibitions, including most recently Joan Miró: The Birth of Worlds at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.