Joan Miro – The Ladder of Escape [Edited by Marko Daniel and Matthew Gale]

This is the book for the Tate Modern exhibition from years ago, which I finally got round to reading, an essay at a time.
Miro and Picasso are two of my favourite artists, and while my knowledge of the world of art is quite limited, is is their bright and bold compositions that I love.

This book, a collection of essays focused around the work displayed in the exhibition gives an in depth portrait of Miro the artist.
A born and bred Catalan, no matter how far he travelled or what direction his art took him, the roots were always buried in the earth of the Catalan countryside.  From his early head of  a Catalan peasant series to his constant insistence at being called Joan, Miro never left the soil of his homeland.
Through the essays you can trace a line from his more traditional early works through to the abstract, the burnt canvases and his epic triptychs.  Deeply affected by the civil war and Franco’s dictatorship, Miro chose internal exile in Mallorca, and refused all overtures from the General’s administration.

He was exiled from his homeland only though, internationally his fame grew, and some of his works were subtle and not so subtle attacks on the Spain’s leadership and isolation, while he remained on a mission to ‘assassinate painting’ throughout his life.  The exhibition also included sculpture, which was an area of Miro’s work I was unaware of, and these are just as abstract, although he still managed to use some of the same motif’s from his paintings.

Complete with decent sized reproductions, the ladder of escape is a great insight into one of the twentieth centuries greatest artists.

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