Joan Miro between words and images

An exhibition in Madrid aims to decode the role of poetic writing in his trajectory

Photo: EPA A visitor looks at two paintings from the series Lettres et Chiffres attires par une etincelle (Letters and numbers attracted by a spark).

As a passionate reader and a good friend of poets, Joan Miro explored the paths of both painting and poetry simultaneously in his work, though eschewing any form of academicism, in a personal quest that did not ascribe to any particular movement. Throughout his life, poetry was a source of inspiration for him.

This exhibition aims to decode the role of poetic writing in Miro's trajectory and to study the close relationship that the artist established with several poets of that time.

The exhibition was organised by Fundacion MAPFRE with the special collaboration of the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona.

“I make no distinction between painting and poetry,” said Miro at one point. This assertion embraces the entire production of the artist, who always tried to find ways of transcending painting, of expanding its limits. And in poetry he found the most profound and enduring way of doing so. Thus throughout his career he played with different ways of including poetry in his work, of trying to transpose the way writers do things to the languages of painting, with a firm belief in the “extremely disturbing nature of the written page”.

Through a selection of paintings, drawings, illustrated books and handwritten poems, this exhibition aims to shed light on this connection by means of two different yet parallel lines. As the curator, Carlos Martin, points out: “One is more complex and speculative; the one that seeks to unravel the role of poetic writing in his concept and practice of painting from the 1920s though to his later work, both conceptually and literally. The other, more direct line, refers to his many collaborations with different poets in a constant interplay between word and image, between linguistic signs and pictorial brushstrokes.”

The exhibition runs from 3 June to 29 August at the Fundacion MAPFRE art centre in Madrid, Spain.

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