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.

Photograph: Tate Photography/
© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

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)

Photograph: Tate Photography
© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

Miro Colorful Contemplation

Colourful Contemplation: Miró’s ‘Blue I-II-III’, 1961

Photograph: Andrew Dunkley/Tate. Centre Pompidou /
© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 201

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.

Comments

Jose

Dear Mathew,
Thank you for a very moving exhibition. The selection of art, the fabulous audiovisual guide (although struggle a bit with the technology), the way it is hang and the theme throughout the whole exhibition makes it a very special one.
I have always loved Miro and thoroughly enjoyed the show; although I went with some friends who did not know Miro and unfortunately they struggle a bit.
Thanks again,
Joe

Edgeworth Johnstone

Brilliant show. Will have to go again.

Alex Newton

Modern Art galleries often display one painting per famous name, with results that can be serendipitous or incoherent. Having mostly encountered Miro in single works, I've always found him hard to get. I am grateful for this excellent exhibition because it was fascinating to see where his art came from. It was also refreshing to have political context given due attention when UK shows and books so often politely ignore it.

Matthew Edwards

Too busy to see anything at all. Very frustrating. I'll have to come back for another look.

catherine

I'm with you on this. Having read Roger Cook's comments, I was feeling a little overstuffed. Your lighter folk art/ethnic view is neatly expressed.
I'm not as well-read as you and Mr Cook, but I paint, and think about painting from morn till night. Miro's meanderings on the canvas and his playful shapes have always delighted me, I visit them in books often as a visual drink. I was disappointed for him, though, on seeing them up close, because his colours are often dead and the application of the paint not always very pleasing. If I was him and reviewing my own work, I would be gnashing my teeth.
Judging by his pictures,I have a feeling there was a sweetness about Miro the man.

april spencer

Totally knocked out by the burnt paintings that I was unaware of. The lithographs of the Ubu Roi characterisations were so varied - loved their line and bits of texture.The sculptures were such fun - the tightrope walker.And the graphic gouache images were so jewel like on their tinted backgrounds.

Deborah

I had been looking forward to this exhibition for months and was not disappointed. Wonderful to see some works for the first time but the best experience was standing in front of the Blue Tryptich once again -- I found it deeply moving the first time I saw it and had a strong reaction this time. I'll be back over and again.
Thanks.

Gill Eastman

Having seen Miro's work in Barcelona [Joan Miro Funacion] - and been completely blown away by his genius, I was greatly looking forward to this exhibition. It did not disappoint:the layout of the rooms was excellent and showed the development of his unique style.I adored the delicate constellation series,; also the Barcelona series of lithographs.I also loved the blue tryptich paintings, the depth of colour of these was incredible, a vast ocean of intense beautiful blue. And it was my birthday too!
An amazing day, I will definitely be returning.

George Verghese

I feel privileged to be in the same space as these masterpieces. The Humour, the Beauty and Rage in some of these works blew me away. Miro and I had a bit of acquaintance before (no more than a nod in the street) but we spent a wonderful 2 hours together in lovely conversation in this wonderful exhibition.

Diana Parkinson

Loved this exhibition, beautifully, thoughtfully and contextually set out. Miro's work made so much sense, I could really connect with the political, historical and emotional journey of his life. Thank you Tate.

Robert

I am not a great fan of surrealism, but then Miro is not always exactly a surrealist, certainly not when it comes to his monumental canvasses which are more abstract and it is with those canvasses that I fell in love with his work. They are as powerful as Monet's waterlilies or Rothko's Seagram canvasses.

His early works fascinated me too and seem to have been fashioned from fabric like patchwork quilts.

A magnificent exhibition beautifully displayed - a triumph for Tate Modern. I shall revisit many more times before the exhibition closes.

Francisco

I am Spanish and visited the exhibition a couple of days ago. I enjoyed it very much. A very good selection of works and extraordinary layout. But there is something I did not like: for visitors following the curator´s information, politics (mainly Catalan separatism) appear as the center of Miro´s artistic and personal life. I think this is just a mistake. Of course he was concerned about social and political events of his time, but I think this was not the only (nor the most important) background of his work. In my view, he was not an activist as the exhibition intends to demonstrate.

Mohsin

Well done Tate, there were moments when I got immersed in the paintings and was oblivious to the crowds around me. Particularly special were the Barcelona lithographs and constellation series.

David Green

Agree with you Eve. The audio-guide music really hit it for me throughout, but the Blue triptych was especially poignant.

David Green

Right on topic to put Miro in the midst of his own revolution, what with the Arab countries blowing up, and citizens storming Whitehall against not-so-bright British politicians. The escape ladder fit snugly into a hopeful longing for change in one's country's leadership.

Gill

I really, really enjoyed it. One of the most striking things for me was that I had never realised Miro was so political and so fiercely proud to be a Catalan. Over the years I have always loved Miro for his use of colour but seeing this exhibition has made me look at Miro's work in a new light. I loved the really big blue canvases, they were amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and it was great to end on the protest of 1968, the year I was born!

Ian Palmer

I approached the exhibition with an open mind but secretly rather doubtful from the little that I knew of his work and life. However I was impressed from the first room and by the time we reached the blue triptych I was truly stunned. We found it difficult to leave! Great exhibition, well organised and documented. Thank you.

Tom Doust

Fantastic. It really broadened my view of Miro's work.

There were some lovely surprises (the oil on copper pieces) and just being able to see so many works together really helps to place them in some kind of context

Thanks to everyone involved in producing the exhibition; you've done a great job

Samantha Chandler

My 14 year old daughter and I came up to see Miro yesterday at Tate Modern. Absolutely loved it! Could have sat in that room with Blue I, II and III for hours!

Carolyn Bentley

I found the Miro exhibition was a journey through his life and through Spanish history. I thought I knew what to expect but each room was a new revelation. I particularly enjoyed the Blue triptych and the contrast from his earlier works, The Tilled Field to the burnt canvasses.

Paul Nicholson

I seem to be going against the grain here, but I spent quite a lot of time in the first three rooms and speeded up the further I delved into the show. The triptyches and later work did absolutely nothing for me I'm afrad... I'll revisit it soon (from my home in Philistinia?)and would love to know what makes these hastily daubed paintings so special to everone else on this blog.

Enah

Dear Matthew,

I was inspired. I am a relatively new to modern art but have always had an interest in Miro. The exhibition clearly defines his career from the early portraits, The farm through to the constallations and the triptychs. The images demonstrate his growth as an artist along with his changing view of the world. In particular the influence of his surrounding on his work. From his family home, the spanish civil war and world war II and finall to the student protecxts in France in 1968.

It was also good to see these influences coming out within the limited amount of sculpture on view. The final scultures in room 13 demonstrating even late in his life how the land and the objects around him still influenced his art.

Thank you. I will be going many more times before the end of the exhibition in Sept.

Ian

kitty

I found myself wondering if Miro had a great sense of fun or was an old misery! It was therefore interesting to go round the exhibition with no former knowledge of the man's personality. I came to the conclusion that he became increasingly angry. I appreciated again the chance to attend as a Friend and will go several times. It is an excellent exhibition. Thank you.

ANGELA WOOD

I thought it was an excellent exhibition. I have been to the museum in Barcelona and it does not house such a comprehensive experience of Joan Miro's work. It was particularly interesting from the point of being able to understand the progression of his thought processes, and that shows how well the exhibition has been curated.
I will definitely try to visit it again!

Mine Zabci

Magical and Excellent. Congratulation

Emma Stark

Thought the range of work was great, fanatastic to see some of his lesser known works. Great flow through the show :)

Fiona

I really enjoyed the Miro exhibition. I thought I knew Miro's work- and have always enjoyed it, but on a rather superficial level. I found that the show enabled me to engage more directly with, and get more from, the paintings. I like the chronological hanging- and the (generally) informative and non pseudy notes which informed and facilitated my viewing of the paintings. I felt that I was meeting the paintings (including ones I had seen before) for the first time. Thanks

Clare J

I enjoyed the exhibition. I liked the emphasis on the socio-political context of Miro's work. We are shown the work as social documents of his time. It brought a new way to engage with and analyse Miro's work for me even after having lived in Barcelona, having visited the Fundacio Joan Miro and having been very conscious of Catalan nationalism. Also, as several people have pointed out through this approach the pictures from the 30s nudge the viewer to reflect on feelings of helplessness and anxiety of those affected in current conflicts.
I would recommend the audio guide because as others have highlighted the appropriate music added to the experience and the footage of Miro in his studio and of his action in the 6os at the the "otro Miro" exhibition in Barcelona were enlightening.
I am curious about whether Spanish or even Catalan viewers see Miro as such a political painter beyond what is termed on the Fundacio Joan Miro's website the "time of revolt from 1932-39". It is not an angle I recall featuring in the Fundacio Joan Miro exhibtions though that was several years ago.

Elizabeth Racki

I loved the Miro exhibition and will definitely return a few times before it ends. Read B Sewell last night! I take his point(s) re execution but maybe that was not Miro's point? I liked the colours and shapes without knowing much previously about his life. Heart not head. They had emotional resonance and I enjoyed the experiences very much. Then I found the history and politics added an extra dimension so I went back and around again for added understanding. I loved the Barcelona series and would be very interested to hear/see children's responses. The drawings remind me of their work too. I wanted to touch the sculptures but dared not "cross the line". Thank you.

Mine Zabci

Hello Mat,I think I will go to see this exhibition more than 3 times. It is a great presentation..GREAT !CONGRATULATION,,Honestly First time in Tate Modern, I can see the spaces between the paintings..every room was a different treasure..I love it..When you finish the exhibition You don't feel tired.You are gifted person.
Thanks, Mine zabci

Mine Zabci

Hello Mat,I think I will go to see this exhibition more than 3 times. It is a great presentation..GREAT !CONGRATULATION,,Honestly First time in Tate Modern, I can see the spaces between the paintings..every room was a different treasure..I love it..When you finish the exhibition You don't feel tired.You are a gifted person.
Thanks, Mine Zabci

Lesley Pearce

I had no idea until I saw this exhibition of the quantity and breadth of his work.It revolutionised my view of the artist and made me aware of the political undertones of which I had no previous knowledge. Thank you.

John Harold

I enjoyed the Miro exhibition. The triptychs really took my breath away.
I was disappointed not to see any of the Miro tapestries in the exhibition. Perhaps I'm just spoiled having visited the Miro museum in Barcelona.
Fab exhibition though!

David Green

I actually appreciated the political framework, although as a few of the comments have pointed out, I understand if some were not impressed. Maybe Miro wasn't as overwhelmed by the revolution as the exhibit points out. But then again, maybe he was. The context from which an artist creates is fairly important, in my view, so placing the show in some sort of light and direction is certainly helpful to answering the question, "why did he/she do that?" Invariably the answer could be a curator's opinion, but even if politics weren't part of the equation, the show certainly gains roots from the perspective.

David Faulkner

Saw this yesterday and was impressed by the breadth of work you have collected as well as the exhibition layout and the quality of the audio commentary putting the social history background in context as well as commenting on the individual paintings and the links between the two. Especially good to see earlier work I hadn't seen before and to enjoy the Blue triptych being given such an appropriate setting.
The brilliance of the colours and scale of the works are reasons enough to visit the exhibition.
My only disappointments were that the blue in your £20 print of Blue II did not get close to the blue of the painting; your shop manager agreed. A re-print is probably in order here before the exhibition gets much older. Also that, in order to get the three Blue paintings alongside each other in the catalogue, Blue II disappears into the centre fold of the book so it cannot be seen as a whole. I would have paid a bit extra for a fold-out.

Helen Waite

Went yesterday and have now re-thought my opinion of Miro. I found the paintings full of anxiety, occasional rage, and symbolism, all of which had completely passed me by when I had posters in my university room years ago. Then I thought him quirky and amusing, but he is far more profound, reflecting the turbulent times he lived through. Even the "Constellations" series have dark undertones.
In a nutshell, whimsy with teeth.
I was imagining what a contemporary artist in Kabul would paint at the present time. I expect it would be as edgy as Miro in the 1940s.

John

Really good exhibition. Pleased that the large murals had there own room without any distractions. Let you relax as if it was a minimalist artist display. shall definitely be going again.

Sophie

Was excellent to see the Barcelona Series all in one place, as well as the symbols 'alphabet' in the last room. I studied art and politics, so I've got a decent knowledge of the Surrealist movement but I think a lot of people might not, so they will miss some of what's being expressed or worked out in the pieces. (This might be explained in the audio guide, which I didn't take.)

I thought the chronology of Miro's life and artistic development that's outside the exhibition space is a concise and useful guide. I'm not sure how many visitors take it in, due to location, but they really should.

Judith Mosely

Loved the exhibition. Just visited the Miro Museum in Barcelona. The Tate exhibition is in a different league. Do you not you have an App like you did for Gaughuin?

eve milner

Really appreciated the music on the audioguide to set the scene. Drowned in the blue triptych, and roared with laughter at the burnt canvases - please God let me have that much energy, fun and rebelliousness in me when I get to that age!! Well done Tate.

Sarah Brown

As a postgraduate student focusing on the reception of Miró's work it is very interesting to read the comments here. I thought the way in which Miró's Catalan identity and political interactions were dealt with was particularly interesting. Miró is very much represented in the light of his position as a 'Universal Catalan', and it was nice to see the focus on his work produced for the international art scene in the 1950s alongside his earlier Catalan landscapes (such as The Farm.)
It would be interesting to hear from any other postgraduate or academics who are working in a similar field and found the exhibition useful.

Sarah

Dear Matthew
I read Mark Hudson's Review, Sat 2nd April and Jackie Wullschlager Life & Arts FT 16th/17th April in the train on the way to Tate Modern. It was good to have time in front of The Farm studying the canvas on Monday morning without too many other people around. I have taken the idea that Miró started with the real, developing flat colour, isolated shape and abbreviated signs which explore and reference his family farm at Montroig, as way of finding the abstract in my own painting. As a child we had holidays in Sea View on the Isle of Wight and I have painted Bunny Warren's boatyard next to the Haywards House flat we used to rent. It is full of detail and memories of crab lines, escaping out of a downstairs window with my brother and sister to run along the jetty in nightclothes to look back at our parents having drinks on the balcony; in front of the flat - the slimey green rocks revealed as the tide went out for climbing over. Having seen the Miró show I now know how I am going to use my Sea View painting and childhood memories as a source for starting to explore my own abstract approach. I have bought the three colourful contemplation, Blue I, II, & III postcards which are on the mantlepiece at home to remind me to edit ruthlessly and find a sequence in minimal. Best wishes, Sarah

Dave MacKenzie

'Still LIfe with Old Shoe' has been one of my favourite paintings for over 40 years because of its use of colours, but I'd never appreciated their vibrancy till seeing the original rather than reproductions. The exhibition's layout put a lot of Miro's art in context - you are able to see just how the Spanish political situation affect his subjects and style.

Christopher Burrows

A superb exhibition,I'm glad I'm a member so I can revisit at a time when its not so crowded.I also think the watercolour exhibition is worth more than one visit.

Elizabeth Watson

Wishing to see Miro with an innocent eye, I spurned the guides and just looked - for this visit. In room 1 the donkey was familiar and the painting so enjoyable. Then Miro's imagination took flight. Perhaps on a later visit I can take this in, but am recently back from exploring Piero della Francesca, who related everything with his background of geometry. Miro takes us in the opposite direction: I hope I can handle this on another day! Elizabeth

Mike Bernstein

Great exhibition. With the show curated chronologically it was clear to see that he just became a greater artist the older he got. The final splashes were brilliant!

Bob Drew

I really enjoyed the exhibition and was pleased to see so many works I had not known previously. I thought the triptics were the highlight and found his earliest landscape work really evocative. Much of the work though felt very lightweight and lacked substance, as if rehearsals for something bigger. This may be a spin-off of producing so much work. I enjoyed the creative experimentation, though some work was more successful than others. Miro's work is very uplifting and makes you want to paint yourself.

Anne

Fulfilled my expectations, i.e to learn more about Miro beyond the lines blobs and colour, it makes much more sense to me & will go again before it closes.

Alison

Wonderful exhibition - extremely comprehensive and well hung. Some truly extraordinary things - the hyper-coloured still life with the shoe, all of the constellations and the burnt pictures. The triptychs were breathtaking, but the best things were the hare and the amazing vivid orange of the drop of water on rose-coloured snow.

Didn't always buy the political angle - it felt like an add on that wasn't entirely necessary. Only occasionally did the politics really resonate with what was on the walls. My question would be why did it need a political framework - can't pictures like that just speak for themselves?

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