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Artists in 60 Seconds: Joan Miró


© 2008 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; used with permission

Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983). The Two Philosophers, 1936. Oil on copper. 14 x 19 5/8 in. (35.6 x 49.8 cm). Gift of Mary and Leigh Block. The Art Institute of Chicago. Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago.

© 2008 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:


Although Miró is most closely associated with this movement, it was not a classification he used to describe his work. Additionally, his style progressed quickly beyond Surrealism during the 1920's, and became ever more abstract with the passing decades.

Date and Place of Birth:

April 20, 1893, Barcelona, Spain


Miró, who tried briefly to please his parents and become a bookkeeper, used being the proverbial starving artist to his advantage. (He claimed that hunger-inspired dreams were the source of much of his subject matter.) Never content to settle for a recognized style, he continually experimented with both technique and medium, taking up sculpture in the 1950's. He is best known for his prolific output of paintings (some 2,000, in all), many of which contain playful, colorful organic shapes.

Important Works:

  • The Tilled Field, 1923-24
  • The Carnival of Harlequin, 1924-25
  • Dog Barking at the Moon, 1926
  • Still Life with Old Shoe, 1937
  • The Gold of the Azure ("L'oro Dell'azzurro"), 1967

See pictures of Joan Miró's work in the Special Exhibition Gallery - Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937.

Date and Place of Death:

December 25, 1983, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

How To Pronounce "Joan Miró":

hwahn (as with "Juan") meer·oh

Sources and Further Reading

  • Dupin, Jacques. Miró.
    Paris: Flammarion, 2004.

  • Malet, Rosa Maria. Joan Miró.
    New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2003.

  • Miró, Joan. Miró Lithographs.
    Mineola: Dover Publications, 1983.

  • Soby, James. Joan Miró (The Museum of Modern Art Publications in Reprint).
    New York: Arno Press, 1980.

  • Turner, Elizabeth; et. al. Calder / Miró.
    London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004.

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