Joan Miro-Montroig,Village and Church-1919-73 x 61 cm-oil on canvas
A very complex subject and Miro shows an impressive level of sophistication. His journey from here, towards conveying the prime in his mature work is fascinating.
I would like to focus on integration and pauses in this posting which hopefully guide you to many other delights in this impressive composition.
Lets begin with the green and red triangles near the the figure, and how the curve of the figure’s back rhythmically integrates with the red triangle. Now, permit your eye to run upward along the bottom curved edge of the red triangle, to the edge of the black tree above, continuing to the left edge of the building above.
There is another strong integrating movement just above the figure, see detail:
The strong contrast between the pink and dark green catches your eye and then takes you up to the pink straight edge leading you toward and connecting to the right edge of the church. There are more, and remember they are not meant to be obvious.
Miro’s orchestration of pauses is also very impressive and there are several. I’ll begin with the two ovals, the drain and the one numbered 173. My eye then pauses on the white shape at the base of the tower. From there I note the black windows above, particularly the circle, and because of the light value the shape the circle occupies my eye moves and pauses on the wonderfully considered small square at the right of the painting. As with the integration, the pauses are not meant to hold you, and compete. They are lyrical notes as in music.
There is considerably more to the dance Miro has invited us to enjoy, like the clouds and the vines, your invited!
Joan Miro - Landscape - 1917 - oil on canvas
I’m sure Miro was thinking of Cezanne in this rhythmic landscape. I love Miro’s wonderful rhythms and how sensitively he balanced movement with sophisticated structural support.
The rhythm of arches is primary, beginning with the large one, we then find them continuing up through the composition. There are several, and I would like to focus on a few which integrate the sky with the foreground.
My favourite is the movement provided by the arch in the sky and the arch of the hill below. Another two beauties are just below the yellow building with the black windows and the one at the right which connects to a wonderfully sensitive vertical which continues down through a wall.
Staying with the detail, l would Iike to mention the integration of the roofs at the right with the hill above, which brings us to another rhythm, those wonderful black dots just above the hills. They are in harmony with the little black windows in the yellow house, which is the focus of the composition.
Let us return to the full composition and the sensitive structural support for the rythmic movement of the arches, the two zig-zags at the bottom. Miro uses them to vertically take us towards the focus. The strong right angle next to the yellow zig-zag is the most important structural element, beautifully stabilizing the composition. And I hope you can feel how important the sensitive vertical I mentioned is to the composition.
Miro has invited us to partake in a visual poem!
Joan Miro - Still Life with Coffee Mill - 1918 - 63 x 75 cm - 23 x 29 in - oil on canvas
Many considerations are evident in this wonderful still life. Miro has shown us his awareness of the picture plane, which was quite recent at the time, as well as spatial planes (cubism).
Miro is absorbing and refining these considerations with his own approach and sense of lyrical structure. This is the difference between mimicking and permitting yourself to be influenced.
He has a superb feeling for space as we see in the rhythmic triangles, particularly in the area above the tablecloth. Can you feel them in front of the background? We first sense the items, then the triangles and then background. In fact do you feel the triangles throughout the painting.
Let me take you to the bottom left of the table where Miro has provided a shape which appears to project forward. This is directly from Cezanne!
I’m very impressed with how he provided rhythmic lines below the pipe and fruit, providing them with energy. A very sophisticated way of integrating.
Now to the advertisement card. He has raised it to the picture plane as Braque and Picasso were experimenting with through using collage. Another influence Miro has permitted to show in his work.