Joan Mirَ (1893 – 1983)
Bronze, height 450cm
The Catalan surrealist artist Joan Mirَ created a pictorial and sculptural world of intense imaginative power. The son of a goldsmith, Mirَ started to draw at the age of eight. He was one of the first members of the Grupo Courbet, founded by his friend Artigas in 1918. He settled in Paris in 1920, returning to Spain only for the summer. In Paris, he participated in the Dada movement and renewed his acquaintance with Pablo Picasso, whom he had known in Barcelona. In 1924, Mirَ met André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Paul ةluard, who welcomed him into the surrealist group, whose manifesto he signed. The surrealists believed that ‘beauty will be convulsive, or it will not exist’, and Mirَ started to make strange objects from items found in flea markets. He stayed away from Spain during the civil war, but supported the Republican side unreservedly and, in 1937, composed The Reaper for the pavilion of the Spanish Republic at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, which was shown next to Picasso’s Guernica. With the occupation of France by the Nazis he returned to Spain. The first retrospective exhibition of his works took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941. Although he made sculpture throughout his life, it was not until 1944 that Mirَ really commenced his work as a sculptor, producing his first ceramics in collaboration with Artigas, and making his first bronzes, cast between 1944 and 1950. In all, Mirَ produced around 400 sculptures, mostly from the 1960s to his death in 1983.
Project for a Monument, like the other work by Miro in Jeddah, Bird, was cast at the Fonderia Bonvicini in Verona in 1981 when the artist was eighty-seven. It weighs approximately three tonnes and was cast in an edition of four (one of which is in Milan, another in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth).
November 18, 2014
Jeddah Sculpture Park