John Mcewen com­ments on Bleu I, II, III

Country Life Every Week - - My Favourite Painting -

Miró was born in Barcelona, his fa­ther a gold­smith and watch­maker. His fa­ther dis­re­garded his son’s artis­tic bent, in­sist­ing on busi­ness school. Miró stub­bornly com­bined busi­ness stud­ies with classes at the School of Fine Arts. His fa­ther next forced him to train at a drug com­pany. Miró had al­ready shown in a pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion and con­flict of in­ter­est proved too much: he de­vel­oped ty­phoid fever and, af­ter con­va­lesc­ing at the re­cently pur­chased fam­ily farm, he was fi­nally al­lowed his artis­tic way. in 1912, he reg­is­tered at Francesc Galí’s pri­vate, pro­gres­sive art school, where his gift as a colourist was first recog­nised; his un­der­stand­ing of form ad­vanced by be­ing taught to draw ob­jects from touch, not sight. in 1920, he vis­ited Paris, where he met Pi­casso and, from then on, he di­vided his time be­tween Parisian win­ters and sum­mers at the fam­ily farm. Con­tact with the in­ter­na­tional avant­garde soon re­sulted in his pur­su­ing his own ab­stracted take on ap­pear­ances in paint­ings as in­tri­cate and jewel-like as might be ex­pected from his hered­ity. in 1925, his artis­tic ma­tu­rity was con­firmed when he ex­hib­ited with Pi­casso, as well as other es­tab­lished older artists, in the first ‘Sur­re­al­ist’ ex­hi­bi­tion.

Of these un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally large paint­ings—a re­sponse in old age to the ‘punch in the ch­est’ de­liv­ered by the un­con­ven­tion­ally large paint­ings of the post-sec­ond World War Amer­i­can Ab­stract Ex­pres­sion­ists— he said: ‘it cost me an enor­mous ef­fort, a very great in­ner ten­sion, to at­tain the spare­ness i wanted… one weak­ness, one mis­take, and ev­ery­thing would have been ru­ined… These can­vases are the cul­mi­na­tion of ev­ery­thing i had tried to do.’

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