Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937

Nov 2, 2008–Jan 12, 2009


Joan Miró. Rope and People, I. 1935. Oil on cardboard mounted on wood, with coil of rope. 41 1/4 × 29 3/8″ (104.8 × 74.6 cm). Gift of the Pierre Matisse Gallery. © 2016 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
  • MoMA, Floor 6, Exhibition Galleries The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery

Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927––1937 is the first major museum exhibition to identify the core practices and strategies Miró used to attack and reinvigorate painting between 1927 and 1937, a transformative decade within his long career. Taking his notorious claim—I want to assassinate painting”—as its point of departure, the exhibition explores twelve of Miró’s sustained series from this decade, beginning with a 1927 group of works on canvas that appears to be raw and concluding with 1937’’s singular, hallucinatory painting, Still Life with Old Shoe. Acidic color, grotesque disfigurement, purposeful stylistic heterogeneity, and the use of collage and readymade materials are among the aggressive tactics that Miró used in pursuit of his goal. By assembling in unprecedented depth the interrelated series of paintings, collages, objects, and drawings of this decade, this exhibition repeatedly poses the question of what painting meant to Miró and what he proposed as its opposite, and in the process reveals the artist’’s paradoxical nature: an artist of violence and resistance who never ceased to be a painter, a creator of forms. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Organized by Anne Umland, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition is supported by the Institut Ramon Llull and the Ministry of Culture and the Media of the Government of Catalonia, and by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

Major support is provided by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The accompanying publication is made possible by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

The accompanying educational programming is made possible with the generous support of The Catalan Center at New York University, an affiliate of the Institut Ramon Llull.


  • Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting, 1927-1937 Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 242 pages
  • Press release 8 pages


Installation images

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