Museo Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró

The Miró Museum in Barcelona has an impressive art collection

Barcelona, Spain
Kasper Christiansen
Text & photos: Kasper Christiansen
28. November, 2020 (revised version)

Joan Miró i Ferrà, Catalan surrealist painter and sculptor, was born in 1893 in Barcelona. He earned international acclaim for his unique Surrealist style mixed with elements of Catalan folk art, characterized by bright colors combined with simplified, childlike forms.

"The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see, in an immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun. There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains - everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me."
Joan Miró, 1958


Joan Miro's Museum in Barcelona
The Joan Miro Museum of Barcelona has beautiful views of the city of Barcelona from the roof top

Miró's work can be found around the world but it`s best represented in Catalonia where the largest part of it is housed at the Joan Miró Foundation.

The Fundació Joan Miró, located in the Parc de Montjuïc, district of Barcelona, was launched on 10 June 1975 and is a showcase of the outstanding works of the Spanish multifaceted Artist.

The building was designed by Josep Lluis Sert, a Spanish architect and friend of Miró. The current collection comprises over 14,000 pieces including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, drawings and graphic works. The major part was donated to the Foundation by the artist himself.

sculpture by Joan Miro Barcelona
Views of sculpture on the roof of the Museum in Barcelona.
The Miró Museum
The Miró Museum - designed by Josep Luis Sert in the 1970'ies

Joan Miró and the beginning

The Catalan painter and sculptor Joan Miró lived in the period 1893-1983. Among early influences on Joan Miró and his work are Matisse, Hieronymus Bosch and the Romanesque frescoes in northern Spain. In 1919 Picasso met Miró, after having traveled to Paris and he began to be influenced by cubism and naivism.

After reading Kandinsky's work on spiritual art and living in Paris he decided to "assassin the painting" as he called it, i.e. to work in new ways with art and creating new means of expression. In the years after moving to Paris he created a highly creative art and announced that the landscapes in his art no longer had anything to do with the outer world - they were images of inner, dreamy landscapes.

Joan Miró and surrealism

But it would be surrealism, which was the biggest inspiration in the work of Miró, and he quickly became a central figure in the movement, although he refused to sign the treaties and never participated in political actions Surrealists held.

The Surrealists would via the so-called automatism arrive at an expression of the artist's unconscious consciousness and interested in frontier psychological conditions that madness but also children art, which they saw as a strong expression of the uncensored, multifaceted self. Miró said himself that hallucinations caused by hunger and stare at a patch had helped to unravel his imagination.

Fundació joan Miró

Address: Plaza de Neptú, Mentjuic
Timetable: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00
The Miró Museum in Barcelona is one of the best museums in the city. It has the most complete collection of any of the world's Miró Museums. Apart from the Miró collection in itself, the museum also has interesting exhibits of other artists of the 20th and 21st century.

How to get there?
The easiest way of getting there is to take the underground metro from the Parallel metro station and walking 5 minutes (crossing the street and going to the left when you exit the metro.


The Museum and Josep Lluís Sert (1902-83)

Miró's personal friend, Josep Lluís Sert, created the Miró Museum on the Montjuïc hill during the period 1972-75. Sert came to play an important role in the introduction of international modernism in Spain, and worked under the functionalist Le Corbusier in the period 1929-31 in Paris.

Some of the most outstanding works exhibited here are the Tapís de la Fundació, Pagès català al clar de lluna, Dona somiant l'evasió, Ermita de Sant Joan d'Horta and the Home i dona davant un munt d'excrements, among many others.

The museum has magnificent views of Barcelona from the Montjuïc hill and contains more than 300 paintings and 150 sculptures. Besides Miró's work, the museum exhibits other contemporary art, including Warhol, Magritte, Rothko, Giacometti, Anthony Caro, Antoni Tàpies, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Eduardo Chillida.

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