Joan Miro

Aidez L'Espagne [Help Spain] (1937)

About this artwork

Miró was not a deeply political artist but he made a number of politically engaged works in response to the Spanish Civil War. In 1937 he was asked to design a one franc stamp to be sold for the benefit of the Republican Government in Spain. His design featured a Catalan peasant who raises a clenched fist in a Loyalist salute. He is predominantly yellow and red, in reference to the Spanish and Catalan flags. However, although the stamp was never issued, Miró subsequently made a stencil print of the design. It was printed in two editions, one of which included an inscription stating: “In this present battle I see on the fascist side just the outdated forces, and on the other side, the people whose immense creative resources which will give Spain a power which will astonish the whole world”.

Joan Miro

Joan Miro

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.

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