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Saturday Art; Joan Miro’s ‘Lunar Bird’

Lunar Bird by Joan Miro

(Picture courtesy of Alaska Dude at

The fantastical quality of his art works makes the name of Miro prominent in the history of modern art.   His works break entirely from traditional, representational art and venture into the reconstruction of the recognizable by putting perceptions of objects ahead of their reality.

He was seminal in the formation of  non-objective art, worked in several mediums.   Not strictly associated with any particular school, Miro steered into new conceptions of sensual experience for the works that form our apprehension as wonderful – while breaking from the purely real.

Conducting his own Surrealism-inspired exploration, Miró invented a new kind of relational pictorial space in which carefully rendered, self-contained objects issuing strictly from the artist’s imagination are juxtaposed with simple, recognizable forms – a sickle moon, a simplified dog, a ladder. There is the sense that they have always coexisted both in the material realm and in the shallow pictorial space of Miró’s art.
Miró’s art never became fully non-objective. Rather than resorting to complete abstraction, the artist devoted his career to exploring various means by which to dismantle traditional precepts of representation. Miró’s radical, inventive style was a critical contributor in the early twentieth-century avant-garde journey toward increasing and then complete abstraction…Miró’s signature colorful, biomorphic forms, roughly geometric shapes, and marginally recognizable objects are expressed in multiple media, from ceramics and engravings to large bronze installations.

The work we see in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, pictured above, is visually barely comprehensible as a bird, but expands into perceptions of the basic form that give it new qualities the artist finds and passes on to us.

Descended from clockmakers and goldsmithers, Miro was early aware of the mechanics behind what we perceive.   He followed family pressures to go into the business world, but suffered what seems to have been a nervous breakdown and returned to his art where he felt at home.

To cite the Catalan artist on his work;  “The joy of achieving in a landscape a perfect comprehension of a blade of grass…as beautiful as a tree or a mountain…What most of all interests me is the calligraphy of the tiles on a roof or that of a tree scanned leaf by leaf, branch by branch.”

(Picture courtesy of wallyg at

Lunar Bird, Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.