Untitled (Figures and Bird) (About 1934 - 1936)
About this artwork
This drawing relates to the small, intense paintings that Miró made in 1935-6 on copper and masonite. He said about these in 1964: “They mark the beginning of the cruel and difficult years that the world lived through…They swarm with oppositions, conflicts, contrasts. I call them my ‘savage paintings’. Thinking about death led me to create monsters that both attracted and repelled me.” ‘Figures and Bird’ is one of a number of works on paper which were given by various surrealist artists and combined to form four surrealist portfolios. Each comprising fifteen original drawings, they were sold at the 1936 ‘International Surrealist Exhibition’ in London, with the aim to help fund surrealist publications. This work is from the fourth album, which Roland Penrose purchased in 1936.
- title: Untitled (Figures and Bird)
- accession number: GMA 3905
- artist: Joan MiroSpanish (1893 - 1983)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Work on paper
- subject: Wars and Conflicts World Wars Surrealism
- materials: Chalk and watercolour wash on paper
- date created: About 1934 - 1936
- measurements: 29.90 x 23.80 cm
- credit line: Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995
- copyright: © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
Miró was born in Barcelona and moved to Paris in 1920. His early work combined miniaturist detail with a cubist fragmentation of space. In Paris he abandoned this style and began to paint an imaginary world full of strange, insect-like figures and forms, which seemed to float in space. This fantastic sign language, which was partly inspired by images from the artist's unconscious mind, soon became a hallmark of Surrealist art. Although he spent time away from Spain, Miró remained interested in Catalonian folklore throughout his career.