Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937

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Introduction to the exhibition: Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937

Narrator: In 1927, Joan Miró, one of the most lyrical of the surrealist painters, declared: “I want to assassinate painting.”

This exhibition, Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937, explores the particular, individual, and intensely innovative character of Miró’s challenge to painting during these years, emphasizing his struggle not simply to negate but to reinvigorate and radicalize the making of his art.

The period between 1927 and 1937 was a troubling one in Europe and beyond, as the so-called ”roaring” ‘20s burned to an end, and as Fascist and totalitarian regimes took root. Against this backdrop, Miró began dismantling accepted notions of what makes painting … painting. He experimented with collage, introducing raw, ready-made materials and images into the fabric of his art. He distorted his figures, often rendering them grotesque, even monstrous, using acidic, hallucinogenic colors. And he constructed a body of work that is deliberately heterogeneous, predicated on difference, a difference that does – and yet does not – add up.

Your guides through the galleries will be Anne Umland, Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture and organizer of this exhibition, along with Jim Coddington, Agnes Gund Chief Conservator. For detailed instructions on using this Acoustiguide, press 1-0-1 and the ‘play’ button at any time.