Joan Miró: Birth of the World

Joan Miró: Birth of the World

This exhibition presents Miró’s signature painting “The Birth of the World” in relation to other major works by the artist, including 60 paintings, works on paper, prints, illustrated books, and objects.

“You and all my writer friends have given me much help and improved my understanding of many things,” Joan Miró told the French poet Michel Leiris in the summer of 1924, writing from his family’s farm in Montroig, a small village nestled between the mountains and the sea in his native Catalonia. The next year, Miró’s intense engagement with poetry, the creative process, and material experimentation inspired him to paint The Birth of the World.

In this signature work, Miró covered the ground of the oversize canvas by applying paint in an astonishing variety of ways that recall poetic chance procedures. He then added a series of pictographic signs that seem less painted than drawn, transforming the broken syntax, constellated space, and dreamlike imagery of avant-garde poetry into a radiantly imaginative and highly inventive form of painting. He would later describe this work as “a sort of genesis,” and his Surrealist poet friends titled it The Birth of the World.

Drawn from MoMA’s unrivaled collection of Miró’s work, augmented by several key loans, this exhibition situates The Birth of the World in relation to other major works by the artist. It presents some 60 paintings, works on paper, prints, illustrated books, and objects—made primarily between 1920, the year of Miró’s first, catalytic trip to Paris, and the early 1950s, when his unique visual language became internationally renowned—to shed new light on the development of his poetic process and pictorial universe.

  • Visual arts
  • New York
  • Sun, February 24 —
    Sat, June 15, 2019

Venue

Venue map

MoMA, 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

More information

MoMA

Credits

Organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Senior Curator, with Laura Braverman, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture. Made possible by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation. Major support is provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III and Monique M. Schoen Warshaw. Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı

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