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Tuesday July 29th 2014

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Miró Is So Surreal

By Kate Peterson

From now until Nov. 13, the Pensacola Museum of Art will display 40 or more of Joan Miró’s works, lithographs and etchings. The show is titled “Joan Miró: Order and Chaos.”

“We are so excited to have such a high caliber show,” according to Pensacola Museum of Art Executive Director Sonya Davis. “We are very proud to carry on a tradition.”

The show is part of a traveling exhibit presented by Blair-Murrah Exhibitions, which offers many such traveling shows. This particular exhibit was a good fit for the museum. The Director of Blair-Murrah group — Elizabeth Morrow — is the former Executive Director of the Pensacola Museum of Art. She contacted Davis to host the show.  The exhibit coincides with one of the museums biggest fundraising events of the year – Suite Soiree.

Joan Miró i Ferrà was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1893, and lived until 1983. He is a Catalan painter, ceramist and sculptor who spent his childhood in Barcelona and later moved to Paris, France. Inspired by cubist and surrealist artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, he moved to Paris in 1920, still spending his summers in Catalonia.

While studying art, and developing his unique style, he dismissed conventional painting because he felt it glorified bourgeois society views, by being so structured. Miró had his first show at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona, in 1918. His work was so highly criticized that it was both ridiculed and vandalized.

“My characters have undergone the same process of simplification as the colors,” the artist is quoted as saying. “Now that they have been simplified, they appear more human and alive than if they had been represented in all their details.”

Miró worked with many young artists over his years in Spain and France. In 1926, he collaborated with Max Ernst, who with Miró’s help pioneered the technique of grattage, toweling pigment onto canvas. Miró’s work was elementary, and yet was a window into the thoughts, feelings and visions of a man who was very structured and controlled on the outside.

In 1937, Pierre Matisse, after opening the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York City, introduced Miró to the United States for the very first time. Matisse regularly exhibited Miró’s work from that moment forward.

Davis is excited to be able to bring this work to Pensacola.

“We are so very pleased to be able to get an exhibit like this. It is such a dynamic show,” she noted. “The yearly fundraiser, Suite Soiree, always has a corresponding ‘big name’ exhibit, last year we had a quilt exhibit that included quilts from all over the world. Suite Soiree really kicks off the cultural season, and we try to have an engaging exhibit.”

Miró is one of the most influential artists of the modern art movement.

Pensacola Museum of Art has so much to offer the community, not just this exhibit but also so much more. Running concurrently with the Miró show is an exhibit by illustrator Janeen Mason, called “Drawn to the Story”; she writes and illustrates award-winning children’s picture books. The exhibit consists of 100 original picture book illustrations.

Along with regular exhibits, the museum offers tours, openings for each show, Saturday workshops, after-school art programs, home-school art school and summer camps. Additionally, they have a permanent collection, you can rent the facility for events and they have a store complete with jewelry, pottery, prints, books and children’s items.

An upcoming exhibit, titled “Woven and Wrapped: Kimonos, Clothing and Culture of Early 20th Century Japan,” runs Nov. 11 through Dec. 12.

WHAT: “Joan Miró: Order and Chaos”
WHEN: Now through Nov. 13
WHERE: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson St.
COST: Members Free, Non-Members $5
DETAILS: pensacolamuseumofart.org