Our exhibition Miró: The Ladder of Escape is now open at Tate Modern.

Joan Miro at Tate Modern
Packing a punch: Installation view of a central room in Joan Miró at Tate Modern.

Here you can see over 150 paintings, works on paper and sculptures, including, as you may have already read in the press, five of his large triptychs which have been brought together for the first time.

Joan Miro Reunited Mural Paintings
Re-united: 'Mural Paintings I (Yellow-Orange) -II (Green) - III (Red)' (1962)
Miro Colorful Contemplation
Colourful Contemplation: Miró's 'Blue I-II-III', 1961

We are very excited about this exhibition - and look forward to hearing your comments. So please do post your messages on the Tate blog below. We look forward to hearing from you. Matthew Gale is head of displays at Tate Modern and co-curator of Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape.

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


Jill James

Only just read your comment Kirsteen, and thank you, I will try again with the white tryptich, on my next visit, keeping this in mind.

Overall brilliant exhibition, well done Tate, but I also sympathise with those who find some of the works difficult. I wonder if any of you students/teachers of art have got any books you could recommend on Miro? Not too advanced please :)

Geoff Riding

I have been a long time admirer of Miro's individual genius and enjoyed his Musee in Barcelona (unlike others it appears) and I wasn't disappointed by this well-curated show. Perhaps a bit more progression on his earlier stuff, or more of his later self-portraits, but all-in-all another great show and I shall no doubt return for another viewing. I thought the blue tryptch was particularly spectacular, and also the burnt canvasses, and the black "face" at the end was especially provoking~many thanks!!

eva hodges

great, shall go again. i was very impressed. fascinating to see where miro comes from, his development from figurative painting, didn't know about that.


great exhibition - particularly enjoyed the insight into Miro's engagement against fascism. very likely to go again!


Brilliant exhibition. Extremely well curated, definitely will be going back before it's over!

sharon tyler

I connected to the paintings at the beginning and end of the exhibition but was less moved by many of the works in the middle, although the audioguide helped to make sense of them. I liked the way the blue series and white line series were in their own spaces - they made more impact, and I loved the fireworks in the last room.


I have so far only looked in depth at the first five rooms and skimmed over the rest. I was bowled over by the first room, especially The Farm, which is undoubtedly a great masterpiece. However, I was less impressed by the later work, apart from the wonderful electric still life with a shoe and perhaps the large triptychs. I have seen a great deal of Miro's work before and it has always seemed rather repetitive and very hard to decipher, although he was certainly a gifted colourist. I found it difficult to derive any real pleasure or interest from the later pieces in the exhibition but will persevere on future visits and try to fully appreciate the political nature of his work, the main thrust of this exhibition.

Colin Stanley

Attended a lecture at the RSA to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Carl Jung on Thursday 2nd June. The following morning I was at your exhibition. Surely no other artist drew inspiration from the collective unconscious and depicted its symbols better than Miro. Some splendid examples here especially the 'Constellations' series of paintings.


It was really interesting to see the earlier work never come across it before


An amazing exhibition, that allowed me to get an understanding of how his work evolved while his life progressed. I am now a Miro's admirer, not due to his beautiful paintings, but because I saw through his work a constant and consistent political act.

Michael Parnham

This is an excellently arranged exhibition - chronology first, and then changes of style within the chronology. With the arrangement of the rooms, it was easy to appreciate the development of Miro's different styles, especially as sometimes they evolved in very short periods. Logjams occurred in some rooms (eg Constellations in Room 7) where a lot of significant works were hung in a relatively small room. It was possible to see the "darker" elements where the Spanish and European conflicts dominated Miro's approach, but also the overall optimism which pervades his work. As Tony Harrison says, translating Aeschylus, "Batter, batter the doom drum, but believe there'll be better". The two hexagonal rooms with the tryptichs were particularly impressive, and a triumph in your design.


I had rather written off Miro after an early love affair with him turned to disappointment on a recent visit to his museum in Barcelona, but the Tate's exhibition shows the value of a really well curated exhibition: the pictures, placed in historical context and duly explained, transformed what I had previously seen as whimsical, repetitive and superficial.

The brilliant, simple introduction to his symbolism, placed in the context of the politics of his experiences and exiles made this a deep, rich, thought-provoking and moving experience. My aesthetic nerve endings were tingling. I will go back for another visit if I possibly can. Thank you.

John C

An enjoyable exhibition with many fascinating works I had never seen before. Rooms 10 and 12 stole the show for me though - wonderfully presented.


The exhibition held little appeal, though where you say the work becomes more "benevolent", I did notice some thing more calm and balanced, and I like his deep blue, not least in the tryptichs. I may well "try again", and acquire more of this taste. I am new to Miro.

Gareth Johnson

I started off being quite sceptical as I'm not a huge fan of surrealist work, but in the final few series on display I really started to connect with the work. Liked "The Constellations", but it was the two triptychs in Room 12 that really took my breath away - very simple but somehow packed a real punch in the way that they were exhibited. "Painting on a White Background for the Cell of a Recluse" and "The Hope of a Condemned Man". And then the final "Fireworks" triptych was again spectacular in its simplicity. I think though that what gives Miro's work its depth and resonance is the understanding of how his work is responding to the dramatic political events that he is living through - particularly in Spain but also across Europe. I know so little about modern Spanish politics/history, but the snippets that are revealed through this exhibition are quite astounding.

Chilled out for a while in the Tate members room - discovered they have free wi-fi. Genius! May be here everyday....

Tom Crofts

An outstanding retrospective of a very varied artist. As much as we may be familiar with one or two signature paintings, it is interesting to chart the course of Miro's paintings across the length of his lifetime. In the flesh, the paintings are rich and vivid, and hugely imaginative, and the colours bold and exhilarating. The curation perhaps made a little too much of the political influences in Miro's corpus over the clearly personal ones that affected him too. But this did not detract from a very coherent and well articulated journey through the artists life. Since the last retrospective was in 1964, this exhibition is definitely long overdue. And I shall certainly be returning for another visit to take in a few pieces in greater depth.

Julian Davies

I was looking forward to seeing this show, having been an admirer of his work for many years and also having visited the Miro Foundation in Barcelona. I wasn't disappointed. The show was an inspriation, with a good cross-section of work from across the years. I particularly liked the large triptychs and the sculptures, which always have a sense of fun about them.

Alan Brickwood

A very enjoyable exhibition and for me wonderfully nostalgic. The last time I saw such a large collection of his work was at Sa Llonja, Palma Mallorca, way back in 1978 - when he was still alive.

The contextual notes accompanying the work at the Tate were superb. I learnt a lot from these.

I shall return before the exhibition closes and next time bring with me my 12 year old son.

Lesley Cox

As my artistic taste runs more to the representational than the abstract, I particularly enjoyed the early pictures of the farm, which I thought were vibrant, jolly and highly decorative. There were many stimulating and interesting canvasses but I found some of the exhibits - well - baffling! I felt there was a sense of being excluded from a private joke, especially pictures where the title seemed to bear no relation to the image - eg the woman with blond armpit combing her hair by starlight; no woman, no armpit, no comb or starlight as far as I could discern! However, the exhibition caused us to have lots of discussion afterwards, so thanks for the stimulus.

Paola Toledo Tonelli

Mirò's art plays with my mind, my heart, my eyes. I could be looking at the lithography serie forever. Could be staring at the 3 Blues for ages. I'll dream about the Burnt Canvases. It have brought me back to the Fundació Joan Miró. Thanks, Tate!

Fran Swaine

I thought the juxtaposition of the political comment with the development of Miro's work was a real eye opener. Moving from the refelction of the fascist 1930s through to the Condemned Man triptych, it really put the works in context. Well done.

Marcelle Chissick

An amazing exhibition, and a fascinaing history of the period that formed the backdrop to Miro's life. It was really intersting to see Miro's development as an artist and also one got a real sense of his love of nature and humanity. Well worth the money and time and highly recommend the excellengt audio guide.

Rene Chang

I went to view the Miro exhibition yesterday and \i agree with my wife that it is one of the best that we have experienced at Tate Modern. Congratulations Matthew, you have done a great job. I particularly like the ladder concept. I was a bit disappointed that there was no large poster of the Dog Barking at the Moon with the ladder on the left. Did buy a post card and the official catalog.

We had a most enjoyable morning. Confirmed the experience of my sister from Malaysia and my cousin from Sheffield Will definitely come again which is a member's privilege. This exhibition alone is worth my subscription.

Paul Edwards-Shea

This is an excellent exhibition providing a coherent story of the art of Miro. I will be going again. Restored my faith in Tate Modern the last exbitions I have been to were a very low quality compared to Miro.

Guy Hornsby

The Miro exhibition was fantastic. I was a fan of his work before, but had only seen a small number of works. Seeing the collection here and watching the video and reading the accompanying narrative was a hugely rewarding experience, and, as a lover of Catalonia and Barcelona, the work really resonated.


Derek Pajaczkowski

Dear Matthew-

I saw the Miro show over the weekend and was duly impressed, finding it very well-curated with a comprehensive selection of works from the artist's oeuvre.

All in all, an informative and beautiful show -thanks!

Kirsteen Ross

I enjoyed the show and was lucky to be there early enough to have the rooms with the triptychs to myself for some periods of time. Looking at them, especially the 'white' ones, I realised that there are works of art which help us to empty our minds and therefore influence our perceptions indirectly. I hadn't really understood that so well before; usually looking for a better understanding through scrutiny of the picture, rather than being more simply, aware of the picture. I hope this makes some sense to you.

Denis Bredelet

I came out disappointed from the Miró exhibition at Tate Modern.

A good thing is that is was not too busy on Easter Monday, so I could actually see the works. On the other hand I am not sure a museum curator is the best person to set up a Miró exhibition, judging by the results.

The first room looks promising. There are early works of the artist centered around the farm. The progression from a naive style to more abstract painting is shown, the detail exquisite and colours are as lively as ever.

Then we move to an extraordinarily stylised body of work, with a face represented as two crossing lines wearing a red hat. There are many versions of this, with enough variation to keep us engaged. We also see surrealistic landscapes, with a ladder and the moon. I think that is the best part of the exhibition.

After this, the paintings get more involved and each should be visited individually. I think that is where the format of the exhibition fails to work. Try making sense of the Constellations, with all of them displayed next to each other on an expense of white wall, and visitors trying to get a glimpse. Maybe if there were less paintings, or closer walls for an intimate setting, the exhibition would be more enjoyable.

The later works are often more monumental, going for a striking image rather than minute details. They are interesting in their own right and clearly Miró, but I consider they can be saved for a second visit if time is short.

Arman Alan Ali

Exhibition was stunning. Not in the least bit crowded on Bank Holiday Monday at around 11.30-12.30 either. Will definitely visit again. Bit cheesed off that the sales assistant who rented me the audio guide at first refused to accept my official NUJ press card as security for it though. Had to point out that I'd used it at tate modern before and that it is recognised by the Metropolitan Police.

Mauricio Sapata

I thought some of the pieces were absolutely stunning, first room I really enjoy it. But I thought quite a lot of them were really bad but hey! Who am I to judge ? I'm not an art expert...this is just a view from someone that didn't know much about his work...maybe I'm missing something, but it will be hard to convince me that "The Hope of a Condemned Man" series is good in ANY WAY!

I love surrealism but his far from being the best...I'm sorry but overall I'd be disappointed if I had to pay to see it.

Rene Chang

I also though the audio guide was extremely well done. I think I shall have to buy the iTune download.

Sally Stevens

This is a fabulous exhibition. Having done my final dissertation on Miro I was thrilled to see almost all his most important paintings in one place. namely the Farm which was on my list of works to see, The shoe which I saw in New York last year and his constellations. I would have liked a few of the ceramics he did with Artigas. The Sun and Moon wall are (I think) are his best pieces at the UNESCO building in Paris, but a suspect a little difficult to move! Well done, it is very well presented exhibition it is worth several more visits

Danielle BlÅ“dÃ...

Didn't really know what to expect, found previous exhibitions very limited and concentrating on short periods of his long life. I really enjoyed it, very well curated retrospective and if you have the time, the notes are well worth reading, felt happier on my way out. Great to see the exhibits without them being too cramped. Would have liked more sculptures.


I loved the Miro exhibition and would be paying several visits to it. Prior to visiting this exhibition my knowledge of Miro's works was rather patchy in contrast to Picasso's works and Salvator Dali's. Miro's abstracts reminded me of Kandinsky's works in an earlier Tate Modern exhibition called the Path to Abstraction. Miro's symbolic language in expressing his views on repression and dictatorship touched me deeply. Well done Tate Modern!

Richard M

Really enjoyed the exhibition. Seeing the paintings in context in the different rooms - with the historical perspective - gave me an insight and focus which enhanced my enjoyment!


A bit of feedback re. the ipod app. Your website informed me that I would have to be on site to download apps for Tate. I connected to the wifi on site and downloaded the Miro app. It would have been much better if I'd downloaded it beforehand - and had a chance or been told to download each video before I got to the exhibiition, because it took so long to stream the videos that I gave up on the whole app. Every time there was a zoom in to an image or a cross fade the video would stop (not buffering quickly enough, or too much graphic information for the phone).


Sorry - I should have said iphone app.

Anna Batchelor

I used to try and catch exhibitions like this but the birth of my son rather knocked art off my radar, but I kept up the Tate membership. Had an afternoon meeting so travelled up early to see Miro. We probably all had a poster of his work on our walls at some stage of our lives but didn't "get" the bigger picture. I had an amazing morning, it all made sense. A life lived in art and conflict with the 2 so intimately entwined. The evolution of his work, so clearly built on fantastic skill as shown in room 1, through to the overwhelming tryptichs, beautifully explained and illustrated. An outstanding exhibition. Thankyou.

Lizzie Brown

I loved this exhibition it was inspirational. I have always liked Miro's work but didn't really know much about him. I bought the guide to help me on my tour around the exhibition and found it really good and would advise anyone who is planning to go to the exhibition to get it too. I learnt so much about surrealism and Miro's life. I really liked the way the exhibition was curated. The smaller side rooms with the large canvases enabling you to sit and observe the large triptychs such as L'Espoir du Condamne a mort 1,11 and 111 was inspirational.

I didn't know his early work and really loved 'the Farm'. The guide explained how to read some of the surrealistic symbolism the Catalan Peasant series and this enabled me to understand more.

I liked all the additional material on the electronic guide. The music really fitted the atmosphere and the videos I played several times.

I went in the evening which meant it was much quieter. I would really recommend this to others to avoid the crowds mentioned in the reviews above.

Brilliant exhibition I will be back again at least once.

Carl Hopkins

Too much; too much. after room 2 I was wondering and wandering without being able to understand. I was finding it unapproachable, except as a superficial "they are all pretty and wonderfully painted". I left without completing a view of all the pictures. I saw an exhibition of Picasso's work with around 10 paintings from each period in a museum in Moscow. I could stand within them all and appreciate the entire Picasso story from these works ready then to go further with that additional oversight and explore his other works. I will probably not return to see Miro again even though he is an outstanding painter/thinker and this is due to the presentation and order of the works. One room could be set as side, the first room (?) with only a selection of 10 or 12 works chosen to explain Miro's range/history. With this in our minds along with the audio explanations, I think viewers could then take the opportunity to prepare themselves with ideas and themes ready to begin to question and enjoy more deeply the exhibition; there could be a mental structure to order thoughts....could all exhibitions develop this idea modelling it to the works on display and the artists personal history?


Audrey Tampkins

The time span of the works was vast spanning Miro's life I was deeply moved by it as I had forgotten the historical background of Spain. Ladder of Escape was an apt title to the exhibition.

Peter Knight

Now choosing a bank holiday to visit might not have been the smartest choice however the cramped feeling would have prevailed in all but a private viewing. And this was accentuated by the lack of a clear direction, in one room it seemed appropriate to view from left to right and vice versa in another.

The audio tour infuriated as much as it informed - I don't need a Spanish guitar intro each click to create the Catalan mood. Less is more.

Finally, who recruits, trains, motivates(?) the staff/security/gestapo on duty? Their scowls alone are off putting but when confronting a young student for taking a picture on her blackberry (as if this is some crime rather than applauding her for her interest, enthusiasm, expression?).

I will return for a second viewing, on a carefully selected day without the crowds, to see if my first impression of Miro as someone whose work had more influence on others than on its own account is fair or needs an attitude adjustment.


First opinions only.. I will visit again to understand a bit more. There was a very intriguing start... works I could not have put Miro's name to. If there was scope, or even more work (if indeed any where made) it would have been very interesting to study this development in style to that which is more commonly considered of Miro. I'll be back. (The beauty of being a tate member you don't have to force an exhibition into your mind in one visit)


I fell in love with Miro when I visited St Paul de Vence in south of France and was looking forward to this exhibition. I am not disappointed. Thank you for the opportunity of seeing the works spread over a lifetime, particularly the early ones that I was not that familiar with. I think to put his work in the context of the changes in the political and artistic world surrounding him was a good idea however it felt slightly overdone: "listened to the speech of Franco on the radio and came home and painted this picture or read in the newsaper about the defeat in eastern front and made this sculpture, etc...". Usually these sort of influences would work their mind to the artist's psyche in a more subtle and indirect way.


A really diverse collection of Miro's work, this exhibition was an eye-opener. I didn't 'get' some of the work but thought others were exquisite. And in this age of mass reproduction, it's always a pleasure to see an original of a work one has seen a million prints of!

Michael Squires

Enjoyed the exhibition, but came away knowing little about Miro's personal life

Jules Hewett

It was so crowded, I left after 10 mins. Will try again another time, probably several times, as Miró and Kandinsky are my favourite artists.


Never thought Miro would be so moving. Really touched by that great display of the Barcelona series. brilliant curation. Will be back for sure.