Joan Miró i Ferrà (20 April 1893 – 25 December 1983) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his native city of Barcelona in 1975, and another, the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, was established in his adoptive city of Palma de Mallorca in 1981.
Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism but with a personal style, sometimes also veering into Fauvism and Expressionism. He was notable for his interest in the unconscious or the subconscious mind, reflected in his re-creation of the childlike. His difficult to classify works also had a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and declared an “assassination of painting” in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.
Miró has been a significant influence on late 20th-century art, in particular the American abstract expressionist artists such as Motherwell, Calder, Gorky, Pollock, Matta and Rothko, while his lyrical abstractions and color field paintings were precursors of that style by artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Olitski and Louis and others. His work has also influenced modern designers, including Paul Rand and Lucienne Day, and influenced recent painters such as Julian Hatton.
One of Man Ray’s 1930s photographs, Miró with Rope, depicts the painter with an arranged rope pinned to a wall, and was published in the single-issue surrealist work Minotaure.
In 2002, American percussionist/composer Bobby Previte released the album The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró on Tzadik Records. Inspired by Miró’s Constellations series, Previte composed a series of short pieces (none longer than about 3 minutes) to parallel the small size of Miró’s paintings. Privete’s compositions for an ensemble of up to ten musicians was described by critics as “unconventionally light, ethereal, and dreamlike”.