Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Rare Opportunity

An exhibit of the work of Joan Miro (1893-1993), a pivotal Surrealist artist, is being featured at The Tate Modern in London, England.

"This is a rare opportunity to enjoy more than 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints from moments across the six decades of his extraordinary career.

Miró is among the most iconic of modern artists, using a language of symbols that reflects his personal vision, sense of freedom, and energy. The exhibition includes many of the key works that we know and love. It also shows that, behind the engaging innocence of his imagery, lies a profound concern for humanity and a sense of personal and national identity."

The exhibition also traces "an anxious and politically engaged side" to Miró’s work that reflects his passionate response to one of the most turbulent periods in European history of the Spanish Civil War and the first months of the Second World War in France. "It tells the story of Miró's life and the time he witnessed reveals a darker intensity to many of his works."

In its time, surrealism was seen as amoral, disgusting and extreme because it claimed to make art from the stuff of dreams. Today it is celebrated as "a living influence."

Andre Breton formulated the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924:

'Dictionary definition: Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

Encyclopedia entry: Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.'

The Tate Modern is the most visited modern art gallery in the world with up to 4.7 million visitors a year....I wish I could be one of them after reading about this exhibit, the man, and the movement. It promises to extend the horizons....