Joan Miró. The Three Sisters. 1938. Drypoint and etching, 10 1/2 x 7 3/4" (26.7 x 19.6 cm) © 1998 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

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In 1938, Miró immersed himself in the etching techniques at the workshop of Louis Marcoussis, a fellow painter and an accomplished printmaker who had his own printing press. It was the poet Tristan Tzara who introduced the two artists. It must have been a sympathetic environment, for Miró made twenty-two prints, exploring the medium’s potential for scratched lines, concentrated intensity when executed on small-scale copperplates, and inherent capacity for thematic variation.

In the Black and Red Series, Miró combined imagery from two compositions, each etched on a separate copperplate. He used black and red ink alternately, and then rotated and superimposed the plates as he printed them on paper.


©1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York