Joan Miró - Solitude III/III
Oil and charcoal on card 75 x 105 cm Framed. Signed 'miró' in black lower left. Signed, dated and titled 'MIRÓ 29/4/60 Solitude III/III' verso.
“The first morning, the last morning, the world awakes. Should I seek solitude, dark language, in order to better grasp this quivering, inconstant life? My mouth has words that I'd wish to be out there, in the heart of this innocent world, which speaks to me and sees me and listens to me and whose luminously clear metamorphoses Miró has always mirrored.” (From: Paul Eluard, Mirós Epiphanien (Naissance de Miró), 1937, cited in: exhib. cat. Joan Miró: Arbeiten auf Papier 1901-1977, ed. by Carl Haenlein, Kestner-Gesellschaft Hanover 1989/1990, p. 55).
In 1956 Joan Miró shifted the focal point of his life to Mallorca. There the architect Josep Lluís Sert, a friend of Miró, designed him the studio he had always dreamed of and which would provide him with space for his important monumental works of the 1960s and 1970s. Large formats had always interested Miró: after all, they provide the painter with the opportunity to move freely, to engage in broadly sweeping gestures. At that time, at his advanced age, he concentrated his strength on metaphysical landscapes, a minimalism in which the cosmos reveals itself to the viewer. Radically cleared of motifs, these works represent highlights in Miró's oeuvre.
An entirely new graphic element characterises Miró's works from around 1960: “The very simplified, sensitive symbols appear to respond to one another across all the voids that divide them and the stains and clouds that encircle and suffocate them. These symbols or - better yet, signals - elude all bonds and structures and form a kind of negative script, perhaps similar to the twelve-tone music the painter has listened to often in recent years”, writes Jacques Dupin. For him it was “no coincidence that this drawing appears in particular on three sheets of cardboard entitled 'Solitude', because the sensations they stir correspond to the meaning of this word. Every one of these scattered, tiny signals is primarily a symbol of the human, in solitude and threatened by the elements - however, as a written confession of our weakness and fear, the clarity and supple firmness of their brushstroke simultaneously testifies to our determination to resist and persevere.” (Jacques Dupin, Joan Miró, Leben und Werk, Cologne 1961).
In April 1960, under the title “Solitude” (Dupin 903/904/905), Miró created three paintings on cardboard in identical format. Our composition is the third from this series and presents itself as profoundly poetic - quiet, but nonetheless not failing to brightly resonate in an extremely dark red as well as luminous yellow and green. Between emergence and disappearance, it prepared Miró's path to the large monochrome paintings of the years that followed - indeed, Miró's entire earlier body of work already culminates here in the broad white brushstroke, delicately meandering line and the few patches of colour.
Dupin/Lelong-Mainaud Paintings, Vol. IV, 1011
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (gallery label verso); Acquavella Galleries, New York; Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin; Private collection
Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris 1961, no. 905 with illus. p. 552; Margit Rowell, Joan Miró. Peinture = Poésie, Paris 1976, p. 102 with illus. p. 102; Barbara Reil/Roland Doschka, Miró Sternennächte, exhib. cat. Stadtmuseum Lindau 2013, pp. 70/71 with colour illus.
New York 1965 (Pierre Matisse Gallery) Cartones, cat. no. 5; New York 1972 (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Joan Miró: Magnetic Fields, cat. no. 38 with illus. p. 129; Berlin 2012 (Galerie Michael Haas), Joan Miró, without cat. no. with colour illus.