Thanks for all your comments on the blog so far. They have been fantastic, so do keep them coming!

Joan Miró, 'Head of a Catalan Peasant' 1925

Joan Miró
Head of a Catalan Peasant 1925
Oil on canvas
support: 920 x 732 x 26 mm frame: 1187 x 999 x 91 mm
Purchased jointly with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with assistance from the Art Fund, the Friends of the Tate Gallery and the Knapping Fund 1999© Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

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Working on an exhibition takes years of preparation so it is really rewarding to get a sense of how many people have been surprised by Miró.

We have expectations about him, but there is nothing like standing in front of the works themselves.

Choose your moment to come (or come back): 10.00 in the morning is rewarding but don’t forget that Tate Modern is open late on a Friday and Saturday.

Twitter Q&A with Marko Daniel this Friday: If you like the blog, then you may also like to join my co-curator Marko Daniel who will be on Twitter to answer your questions between 5pm and 6pm this Friday.

Joan Miró The Ladder of Escape is at Tate Modern until 11 September 2011.

Comments

Pilar

I must admit to the fact that I don't get abstract art. I might find it amusing or appealing at times but I must admit that Miro is one of the artists who I find very difficult to understand at all. I believe that his art is very symbolic and the more aids are given to interpret this the better. For example when he represents the traditional catalan hat a photograph of what this looks like might have been an aid worth having. I came to the exhibition because I knew that I like his sculpture so it is really great that you managed to put together such a comprehensive show. Thanks to this I have discovered that I also enjoy his early work and I kind of got some joy from his constellations. I am unsure if I should go back with an audio guide or perhaps go to one of the talks that you have organised in June. With abstract art I am never sure of what is there to understand although in the case of Miro I keep thinking that because he uses symbols it would be great to know how these work. So far I only get the escape ladder and the dog barking at the moon ... Perhaps that is all there is and I am overcomplicating things! But if that is the case then I am afraid that I fail to grasp what all the fuss is about.

Jonathan

The exhibition was beautiful - very inspiring and surreal. Two minor criticisms: the Triptych Blue series was utterly stunning and so easy to get lost in but would have been vastly improved by increasing the diameter of the room by about 2m so it could all fit into your field of vision at once. Secondly, visionary art like this is crying out for a soundtrack - I'd love it if curators would push the envelope a bit and play some suitable music to go along with enjoying incredible visual art.

Jane O

The paintings on copper were my favourite. Such bright intense colours. The title of one mentioned figures in front of a pile of excrement which was a bizarre and heart rendingly shocking topic in the context of his pictures of the beloved farm. I am afraid that I didn't read the commentary, so maybe I missed the reason for his feelings, was it something to do with the horrors of Catalonia being taken over?

victoria lubbock

I really enjoyed this exhibition - especially the early works. I perhaps should have taken the audio commentary as the triptychs were a complete mystery to me! But, otherwise, I thought the space and arrangement of these extensive works was great and, whilst busy, still gave one the opportunity to stand back and marvel. Well done Tate Modern and what a fantastic resource for us Londoners!

Marta Jiménez ...

After an interesting reading at the Prado Museum, (Bacon: Chance and Order), I had occasion to comment on my admiration about how Tate intoduce visitors in the world of art not only as mere spectators, but it through the dissemination audiovisual elements, magnificent catalogs, guides, learning materials, rich libraries, and of course this blogs where enjoy the intense feelings that lead exposure in public. Read additional information about the works and to reflect the emotions that this gives us rich in a very strong the perception and appreciation of art. Is in front of each new viewer that the artwork materializes, the virtual communication between the artist's inner world and their own language is always the fragile beginning of a dialogue that tries to catch the viewer in a complex world of creativity itself, the observation custody of the artwork in real space, arises the emotional connection to what we perceive, the strokes, the symbolism, material, color, no longer static elements, our own ideas transforming every detail in a living language between what the artist would not be silent and what viewers got to hear our own thoughts intertwined. Art is constant communication with each viewer will return to trigger curiosity and sense reasoning. Miro is definitely one of the great geniuses of latent symbols, his indecipherable universe works can not be observed without any soak in the atmosphere where each stroke is a cryptographic puzzle to reveal unknowns. My admiration and personal thanks for another memorable exhibition at TATE.

Piroska

The Constellations were shocking - an exhibition within the exhibition. It was also fascinating to see how Miro kept innovating while carrying basic themes through his life. A superb exhibition - a unique treat that you can get only in very few cities and museums in the world. Bravo, Tate Modern.

A Alani

My subconscious escaped through a ladder founded firmly in the reality of the ticket office at the lower level of the Tate Modern and escalated me up five storeys to attend its early summer fete: "Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape.” What a fitting setting for a great artist!

Each of the 13 rooms has its own theme, time-period and arguably topic. However, they all share Miró's distinctive display of the audacity of simplicity. Also, from the dynamic scale ("I don't think it makes sense to give more importance to a mountain than to an ant”) to the deliberate absence of detail ( "Dog Barking at the Moon”), Miró's style brings to the subconscious's foreground what it really matters and puts it front and centre in the mind's landscape.

As far as I know, a few managed what Miró mastered: using simple strokes to represent a whole element within a painting ("The Head of a Catalan Peasant”) or even a complete piece of art. To that point, I was in Room 12 where I literally spent 30min in an uninterrupted stare contemplating on, what I think, the pinnacle of my tour through this great exhibition: the three triptychs depicting what Miró called "The Hope of a Condemned Man I, II, III.” I'd like to congratulate the curators for the design of this Room (hexagonal shape) and the dark background colour of its walls, these two critical structural "events” made it possible for the white-background triptychs to appear as live as possible and for the subconscious to be drawn into them full and square. I say into "them” because they are juxtaposed as two sets of threes each one occupying half the hexagonal room. A triumph for the Tate Modern and a true feast for the senses.

What I found most intriguing about the "Hope” triptychs is the white paint appearing on the side where the black-outline for the "head” of the "Condemned Man” is "open.” When the mind is not closed off as symbolised by the open outline, hope and peace (white colour) even though might not be tidy and neat but presented as paint dripping along the canvass, is right there trying to find its way into the mind. I guess this is a simple way (Miró style) to show one's ability to have the audacity to hope - "something that is useful to mankind” as Miró himself had put it.

A Alani

My subconscious escaped up a ladder founded firmly in the reality of the ticket office at the lower level of the Tate Modern and escalated me up five storeys to its early summer fete: "Joan Milo: The Ladder of Escape.” What a fitting setting for a great artist!

Each of the 13 rooms has its own theme, time-period and arguably topic. However, they all share Milo's distinctive display of the audacity of simplicity. Also, from the dynamic scale ("I don't think it makes sense to give more importance to a mountain than to an ant”) to the deliberate absence of unwanted detail ( "Dog Barking at the Moon”), Milo's style brings to the subconscious's foreground what it really matters and puts it front and centre in the mind's landscape.

As far as I know, a few managed what Milo mastered: using simple lines to represent a whole element within a painting ("The Head of a Catalan Peasant”) or even a complete piece of art. To that point, I was in Room 12 where I literally spent 30min in an uninterrupted stare contemplating on, what I think, the pinnacle of my tour through this great exhibition: the three triptychs depicting what Milo called "The Hope of a Condemned Man I, II, III.” I'd like to congratulate the curators for the design of this Room (hexagonal shape) and the dark background colour of its walls, these two critical structural "events” made it possible for the white-background triptychs to appear as live as possible and for the subconscious to be drawn into them full and square. I say into "them” because they are juxtaposed as two sets of threes each one occupying half the hexagonal room. A triumph for the Tate Modern and a true feast for the senses.

What I found most intriguing about the "Hope” triptychs is the white paint appearing on the side where the black-outline for the "head” of the "Condemned Man” is "open.” When the mind is not closed off as symbolised by the open outline, hope and peace (white colour) even though might not be tidy and neat but presented as paint dripping along the canvass, is right there trying to find its way into the mind. I guess this is a simple way (Milo style) to show one's ability to have the audacity to hope - "something that is useful to mankind” as Milo himself had put it.

Gloria Medina

I think it is the best exhibition I have seen in a long time from the curating point of view. Comments were precise and helpful. The time line perfectly managed without becoming overwhelming. I never take guides (be it electronic or human) because I fear this will stop me from seeing what I like or appreciate, but I found the comments to the rooms and the pictures unmissable. Well done Tate Modern! Much better than the Gauguin... and much less crowded. I would add one wish: Miro's sculputure is unique, so I wish that part of his art expression had not been so little represented in this exhibition, but maybe it is more difficult to borrow and transport? Many thanks any way for the lovely and otherwise comprehensive presentation of his work.

Lauren Carey

I'm really excited that the Miro exhibition is coming to the United States in May 2012. However, sometimes not all the pictures can travel out of the country or the museum to which they have been donated. Can you please confirm that all the paintings will be coming to Washington DC especially the one entitled 'Message d'un Ami' or Message from a Friend? Thank you.

miranda acland

Thought the exhibition was well staged as always - resent being asked for another £4 for a headset considering the entrance fee which seems quite high, but there was good information as you went through so it wasn't necessary. Not sure though whether Miro warrants an exhibition of this scale - a lot of interesting works but felt a bit thin overall compared to other major artists. Especially as i have seen some of the important canvasses before in the Tate collection. But we did enjoy it very much.

Margot

I love Miro's paintings and have been to the Miro Foundation in Barcelona. I liked the way the exhibition was organised - being able to see the progression of his work over the years and related to what was going on in his life and the world at large. I particularly like the Barcelona series.

Jakob Sonderby

An amazing exhibition, wish there had been even more of his work! Was wonderful to experience the Tryptich blue series, Blue II is one of my all time favourites, and one could truely immerse oneself in it at the Tate. The Barcelona series and Consteallations were also wonderful to see, and the burnt pieces were also very well presented.

I liked the new iPod guides which were fantastic, I will rent these everytime after this experience. Easy and quick to use and with lots of excellent info. Best audio/visual guide I've tried at any museum or gallery to date

Jo Wilson

I was delighted to find that my visit to the Miro was much better than my visit to the Gauguin, which was very full of people and much too much . Yesterday at the Miro there were very few people and a much better experience. Please TATE limit the amount of people allowed in at any time.

Alberto

Excellent exhibit, would have liked to have seen a few more works from the 50's and 60's.

Koenraad Reynaert

Hello

Is there a way to get miro merchandising for wholesale ? Who should i ask ? There's a Miro exhibition coproduced by our museum & currently running. Miro merchanidising sells quite well in our shop

best regards

Koenraad Reynaert MuseumShops royal museums of fine arts of belgium musee-magritte-museum

9 rue du Musée / Museumstraat 1000 Brussels tel+32(2)5083561 / 5083419

kieran battles

It's very good. But Fundacio Miro in Barcelona is better. I suppose it's to be expected but I came with high expectations based on the quality of Tate shows and unusually, they weren't met. Enjoyed it all the same

Mich Jonas

I agree with many of the comments: I thought the exhibition was really well presented and very informative, showing the work off to best advantage. I particularly liked the variety within the work itself but also the different ways in which it was shown, in terms of the size and lay-out of rooms. I loved the large tryptichs, especially the blue ones, and I thought the Barcelona series, all along one wall, was very striking, as were the burned canvases.

I've just come back from Mallorca, where I saw some wonderful Miro painintgs in a ssmall exhibition space in the railway station at Soller, which stimulated my in interest in his work. This exhibition has added significantly to my knowledge and understanding of him as an individual artist and of his place within the artiistic and political world of his time.

Ruth Boetzel

The exhibition is fantastic, I was captivated by the 'Constellations' series and the later works, especially the triptychs and the burned paintings. The podcast was an excellent idea, it made much more information available than the old audio guides.

Stephen

Great show - was surprised how much I actually enjoyed it and despite the scale, Miro's versatility kept me going. I especially enjoyed the first room of early works and the two octagon rooms with the massive triptychs which provided a rest bite to be emerged in such large pieces and reflect on the earlier rooms. I also found the consistent referencing to the political background an integral context to the work and exhibition and great to be reminded of these reference points throughout. Fantastic show

Nathanael

The exhibition was very good and comprehensive. The only downside was that there were too many people! (I went on 30th April 2pm) Surely the point of selling tickets for an allocated time was to restrict the number of people in the galleries at any point in time? Yet, there was no control whatsoever that I saw. As a result, it was a challenge to see some paintings and some rooms were incredibly stuffy and warm, making what could be a better experience only average.

Leni Gillman

I loved the show and intend to return to see it at greater leisure. It is wonderfully comprehensive, with work I have never seen before in any collection. It gave me a completely different take on Miro and I had no idea he was so influential on his contemporaries. I left with that wonderful feeling of exhilaration I always get after a truly exciting exhibition. Thank you.

Wayne Bennett

The exhibition is a triumph. Above everything else it places Miro as a staunchly Catalan figure and therefore, in the context of Spain's tortured political journey, as an artist on the edge. The wit and lightheartedness evident in so much of his work is revealed a as cloak that masked a deeply thoughtful artist completely aware of the darker dimensions of Spanish political and social life. The legacy handed down to Tapies is also obvious but I think seen here for the first time. Bravo Matthew!

alexandra imrie

Beautiful, energetic, uplifting show. Inspirational in content, the thoughtful and gentle rendering as well as staggering volume of work. I loved it!

alisonmaddocks

Hi - the exhibition was fantastic , thought provoking and we really enjoyed it - well presented, displayed and a good comprehensive commentary. we were however a bit disapponited with facilities at the Tate - namely the loos - both gents & ladies smelly and not that clean - plus foul expensive cup of coffee in horrid paper cups served by a young man who must have been the saddest & surliest bloke in central London. ( great coffee round the corner half the price in Union theatre cafe ). over crowded ( as was Gauguin) and impression overall was that a lot of money was being sought and made. We had travelled some 200 miles just to come to this exhibition and the art did not disappoint but the environment certainly did.

Caroline Chase

My partner and I came to see the exhibition on Monday. As usual I think the Tate did a good job displaying the works, especially the triptychs.

I think my partner whose mother has a fine art degree has a greater understanding of surrealism and got more out of it. I found myself thinking what on earth is that meant to be? I particularly found his depictions of women creepy. However, I loved May 68 - it made me feel rebellious and that anything is possible.

His work is definitely challenging and thought provoking. I may not have liked most of it but it made me think. Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin take note!

Rob Guyton

have warm memories of visiting the Fundacio in Barcelona but needed the excellent audio-visual guide to deepen my understanding and enjoyment of his very varied work. It was good to trawl through two or three times with and without the accompanying guide/commentary. Joyous, sensitive, witty! I liked seeing the early pieces and how it was a very direct step from those painstaking depictions of his early landscape straight into the symbolic and surrealist. Will definitely return and recommend to friends. Well done again, the Tate!

Juliet Challis

thoroughly enjoyed my tour with audio guide. The latter was superbly done and I learned a great deal about the political influences on Miro's work. Things fell into place for me. i'll be back again

Corinna Lotz

A terrific show, congrats to Matthew and all those involved. Some good essays in the catalogue too. The triptych rooms superb. check out my review for deeper analysis and rebutting of Waldemar et al.

Frank Norman

I was a bit afraid that the exhibition might just be a transplant of the Fundacio Miro so was pleased to note that the works were drawn from a wider pool. I enjoyed his early works - I would have liked to see works from his contemporaries or those who influenced him in his early days. But perhaps that is a job for another exhibition ;-)

I loved the constellations, and it was great to see the Barcelona series drawn together. I appreciated the exhibition presenting Miro's work as a series of collections. I must confess that I was less drawn to the later works; the big triptychs didn't do much for me. The text and the audio guide made me want to try harder though.

Morgan Claire

Wonderfully inspiring, varied and prolific artist. Was pleasantly surprised at the high number of works the Tate had on display. Highly recommended!

David Stone

I've never looked at Miro before in any detail, so found a lot to look at and consider. It is good art, witty, moving and intelligent. It was a pleasure to view the show.

philip townsley

I went to see the Miro twice in 2 days over Easter...once for a "quick" look, to get a feel for the works, plus to see how busy it was (I was freaked out by the hordes of people at the Gauguin!). But I was pleasantly suprised by the lack of crowds, and stunned when I revisited in more depth by the range of works (much more than wallpaper colour-squiggles!)- plus the political-historical context. So it looks like its going to be the "Summer of Miro"

Paul

This was a powerful and comprehensive introduction into the work, thoughts and world of Miro. The sequencing and choice of works was excellent and the explanations, where available, was insightful. Before this, I never saw the beautiful imagery, escapism and internal struggles of the artist. I do think more explanations would have been useful, as well more parallel information on the works of other artists during this period (excerpts from poetry, painting and prose would have been enriching). A downfall of the exhibition, which was the case for the Gauguin exhibition earlier in the year, was that the rooms were too crowded. I think the Tate needs to limit the number of people entering the exhibition since it seems that at times we were 40 or more in a room. While his work was one of intimacy and surrealism, the experience was spoiled by the crowds.

Márta Hoffmann

I think this Miró exhibition is one of the best organized ones I have ever seen, mainly because the curators were able to find the sweet point between trying to cover everything but still stay digestable. I did not love each and every exhibit equally but agree that this way one could better understand how one stage in Miró's life led to another. Congratulations!

Agnieszka

Tate Modern is a fabulous place, already packed with artistic wonderfulness. Though, it needs to be said, that putting Miró on its walls was a fantastic idea! A perfect space for an art of such amazing standard. Incredibly uplifting experience. It will surely stay with me for long. Thank you

Claire Whiteley

I loved the burnt canvases .... having read about thier creation in the Tate Magazine I was able to fully appreciate thier angry message. We will be coming back to take a longer look at everything.

ivor cohen

A wonderful exhibition with disappointing exhibits. I have been and am a fan of Miro having bought two of his colourful works for my grandchildren but thought the exhibition rather lackluster

sheila SANCHEZ

loved the dog barking at the moon.i know how he feels

C Burns

Loved the constellations.

Robert Luke

My wife and I were bowled over by the Tryptich rooms, especialy the deep blue and other coloured paintings. What a genius in creating so much with so little. Illuminating information. Congratulations - a superb exhibition

J Lam

Saw the Miro exhibition the other day and really enjoyed it. I'm not much of a fan of his earlier stuff (rooms 1-3) but after that I was smitten.

Samantha Male

Thank you, the Miro exhibition is comprehensive but digestible. His works so surpising and invigorating. I aim to return and return all summer!

ANN TOMPKIN

We thought the Miro Exhibition was wonderful. The commentary was particularly interesting, well presented and worth listening to.

vyv

I too saw this just after a trip to Barcelona and think Tate had the better selection (though artists' foundations are often a bit disappointing as all the best stuff is in wealthier hands).

The commentary seemed desperate to emphasize how Miro was this seething, angry, political activist; he may have been but the paintings, media images and his choice of studio locations imply that this was a bit of a PR excercise.

Denise Kessel

I thought the Miro Exhibition was wonderful. The commentary was very interesting, well presented and worth listening to. The music on the commentary was amazing - would love to know the name of music and the performers

bechade

Isaw the exhibition last week,wonderful!i loved the burnt canvases!i had already seen most of the others in Barcelona and in Paris but here they are very well presented.congrats!

sergio

Haven't seen it yet but reading these comments and knowing Miro' i am sure it will be amazing...Looking forward to it

anicoll5

I have visited the Miro gallery in Barcelona and the gallery and studio in Palma previously and found the Tate exhibition and excellent survey of the artist's work, right up there with the two permanent sites. Good choice from different phases of Miro's work, and not too many pictures.

Back handed complement but commendably quiet mid afternoon on a Wednesday too !

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