Joan Miró Message from a Friend 1964

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Artwork details

Joan Miró 1893–1983
Message from a Friend
Message d'ami
Date 1964
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2620 x 2755 mm
frame: 2640 x 2775 x 60 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from funds bequeathed by Miss H.M. Arbuthnot through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1983
Not on display

Display caption

Miró believed that ambiguity was essential to the poetic effect of his work. Accordingly, he deliberately left the identity of the shapes in this painting unclear. Soon after its completion he compared the central black shape to both a cloud and a whale. However, preliminary sketches show that the composition was derived from an arrow drawn on an envelope by Alexander Calder, the friend of the title. As one commentator has remarked, the work as a whole became a ‘meditation on communication’.

July 2008

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