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.



Visited Joan Miro exhibition last weekend and it greeted me with great interest. I had seen a selection of his creations in Barcelona - but the wealth and depth of his work at the tate Modern was quite spectaclar. Even pieces of work which on initial viewing did not appeal to the eye on further viewing they really brought to the forefront the angst with which Miro was holding inside him when he created a number of his works. As a member of the tate galleries I fully intend to make subsequent visits before mid September..

Jill Channing

I absolutely loved this exhibiton and spent twice as long there as I had planned. I only knew basic facts about Miro before, but found it easy to understand the progression of his work and his influences, because it was so well curated. The colours and sheer vibrancy of the exhibition just blew me away, especially the works on copper. A real triumph, and I hope to find time for another visit before it closes.

diana brighouse

my husband and i visited the miro foundation in barcelona a couple of years ago and enjoyed the visit enormously, so we were looking forward to the tate exhibition. it certainly did not disappoint - in fact we enjoyed it even more than the foundation, largely due to the excellent curation. the notes accompanying each piece of work and each gallery were concise and very informative - like another commentator here i had failed to appreciate the extent to which the prevailing political situation had influenced miro. the other really interesting aspect of the exhibition for me was seeing how the 'condemned cell' pieces were displayed, and how much it influenced the impact of the works. all in all an outstanding tate exhibition - i will definitely be returning. you have set the bar very high for future retrospectives!

Jill Brownbill

I've seen a lot of Miro (Fundacion Miro, Barcelona, and Foundation Maeght, Nice) and have always thought of him as a 'fun' artist who was playful with materials and subject matter; his work always cheered me up and made me smile. This exhibition showed me a new side, his political, Catalan side. I really enjoyed the exhibition, especially the murals, and I learnt so much more about Miro and his work. Marvellous exhibition - I'm going back, probably several times! Thanks

R Minter

Liked the first room and his early work. It goes down hill from there on in. I thought the deterioration of his work paralleled the decline of painting in the 20th century as daft ideas proliferated.

Holly McGlynn

Much as I love Surrealism, Miro was never an artist who really gripped me. I went to see the exhibition at the Tate because a friend of mine was a big fan - I'm so glad I did. The exhibition catalogues such a wide gamut of styles and influences. I can't believe how dramatically his style changed in just a couple of years. Miro's work is so brave and confidently executed, stripped back, sometimes violent, sometimes agitated and inescapably political, given the fraught climate he lived in. The exhibition gives enough context to the work to make it relevant, without overloading you with information, and the chronology and introduction to his symbolism makes the exhibition so enjoyable. Highly recommend it.

martin chesterman

Particularly enjoyed the first half of the show. But then came the chronological gap "after a decade of concentration on ceramics" - as the guide states - during the 1950's. Why no ceramics in the show? To dedicate more than 10 years of your career to a medium surely warrants some representation? Ceramics got a look in at the Gauguin show (OK, not great work). Any ceramics present in a serious show is important in demonstrating to the public the value of the craft, and if it meant something to that 'fine' artist, it should be shown.


I totally agree with these comments. I went to this exhibition because I thought I ought to, having dismissed Miro's work as decorative. I was clearly mistaken, as the excellently curated exhibition brought out Miro's range of exploration and absorption in his painting and, as Olliver says, his sheer joie de vivre. It is always good to find an artist who was not a tormented soul, despite the harshness of some of his experiences. The final triptych I found just perfect. Thanks Tate!


Ah Miro, have always likes his later work but never knew why, more of a visceral reaction. Now I find his earlier work sets the context and his journey, political and personal gives his work an added edge. The introductory film was well done, I feel I undertand his driving forces a little now, informative and in the right place. Thank you Matthew. Have looked in detail at his technique and use of materials, which became even more interesting and amusing post-firing the canvases, an interesting insight into his view of the art world. Exhausted my concentration mid way and zoomed through the second half of the exhibitions,I will return to sit and consider his tryptichs when it is quieter. My only reservation was an overly speculative interpretation of the use of line around the features in his earlier peasant painting, but it prompted thought so maybe I'm being too picky. I found the interpetive balance just right, the chronology worked well and enought light and shade for the academic and the uninformed viewer. I am inspired, were it not for exhaustion after a heavy day, I'd of picked up my brush immediately when I returned to the studio.

Julia Matcham

Very interesting exhibition. I always loved the early work and it would have been nice to see the full range of that even if in part it might have been by way of reproduction...just so one knew of the other works. Clearly early work is totally eclipsed in quantity by the later work, which I think eventually owed too much to American influence. For me this became boring and far too 'reductive'. Nevertheless there was a lot in between that was fascinating, very detailed, and which I had never seen and was accomplished with amazingly beautifully controlled line.


I was so fortunate to get into the exhibition early this morning, which gave me more time to linger with the earlier works in rooms 1 and 2; the Barcelona series lithographs; and the Constellations series. My focus ended up landing on Miró's precise use of line (eg Mont-roig, the Church and the Village; The Farm; The Escape Ladder (1940)) and how it 'contains' colour in some of his earlier canvases, compared with the liberated, lineless colour of May '68.

paul lefevre

Second time I have visited and still astounded by the depth and breadth of his vision; it enraptures and encompasses my feelings; A painter who requires several visits before fulfilling a unifying whole; there is so much to see and understand. ABSOLUTELY fascinating and one of the best exhibitions the Tate has had so far. Love it

Anna Chen

You have done a fantastic job curating this exhibition.

We went yesterday (Thursday) at 4.30pm and found it had enough people to contribute to a buzz but not so many as to lead to gallery rage. It was a very comfortable viewing and we'll be back.

You had some interesting paintings from periods absent for the Barcelona Miro Gallery — which was gorgeous but lacked some of the constellation pictures and the vivid pastels. My companion was particularly taken by the wall of Ubu Roi monochromes.

Well done. Congratulations on a fabulous exhibition.

Anne Gordon

Wonderfully well curated. I knew relatively little about Miro and was only aware of his better known works. The exhibition enabled me to understand the historical relevance and how very wide ranging his work is. This has left me wanting to learn more.


The triptych rooms are fantatstic and the colours used on some of the later paintings are really awe inspiring. I particularly liked the mid to later work and the long wall of lithographs. The small works seem just as impressive as the huge large scale pieces. I really enjoyed it very much.

John Lawrence

Dear Gerry, You've put that very well. As the show moved to his later work I found that it became increasingly vacuous and solipsistic. Best Wishes, John Lawrence

Tom Glynn

A Fabulous exhibition and intelligently curated and presented. An excellent exhibition catalogue too. I took an academic to see the exhibition who is passionate about everything Spanish and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the insight to a most important Spanish artist. It was also very rewarding to see a few sculptures too, but what a shame not to see at least one textile hanging and disappointing the the Miró Foundation in Barcelona couldn't at least have lent one piece of those magnificent textile hangings. I have visited twice now and will be back to the Tate Modern very soon for a third visit.

Jenny Smy

This exhibition was recommended to me by a tutor and whilst I had intended to visit anyway I would say to anyone this is not to be missed.

I knew a little about Miro and his work, but this exhibition expanded my knowledge greatly. The work is fascinating and learning about the background to it gave more meaning and depth. A visit to Barcelona is on my list and I am sure will increase my insight of the work even more.

When you visit do include the audio tour as it is an essential part and will further enhance the exhibition experience.


This was my first experience of Miro shown as a comprehensive exhibit rather than a single piece of work in a gallery. I found the extent and span of work impressive. The Barcelona series was impressive as a whole, as were the triptychs in rooms 10 and 12.

I am surprised that the gift shop was not offering iPhone covers of the most iconic images, as I have seen done at recent major retrospectives in Japan.

Also there seems to be inconsistency across exhibits at the Tate with regard to photography / sketching.

Veronica Lindsa...

It was very exciting to see Miro's early figurative work and how it metamorphosed into symbols, a shorthand reference of imagery from his youth. His colour palette also seems to derive from long summers on the farm, particular the intense blues. I was very excited by the intensity of colour within many of Miro's paintings. I will be paying a second visit - so much to see, so rich and great fun.

Tim Challans

Prior to planning to go to the exhibition I was not sure that I really enjoyed or understood Miro. I was fortunate enough to visit his studio in Mallorca a couple of weeks ago. I have not been to the Barcelona Museum, but I would certainly recommend his studio in Palma.

I think the exhibition is excellent and the interpretation certainly helps in understanding Miro's politics and the impact on his work. I did not use the sound guide, because I find them distracting, but there is sufficient text to put the work into context. I now understand the ladder but I would like to know the significance of the repeated image of the shooting star in the earlier and surreal works.

What really emerged for me was the breadth and depth of Miro's work. The later work is stunningI was most moved by he tryptichs in Room 12, which are also very sesitively displayed. The burnt canvases are also fascinating.

Just as the Gaugain exhibition completely changed my view of his work (unfortunately, not positively!, so the Miro has encouraged me to learn much more about him.


I went to see the exhibition yesterday and I really enjoyed it. In particular seeing how his work progressed from the early paintings through to later in his life. I thought that the Barcelona Series along the long wall was quite powerfull as was the blue triptychs. I also really liked having the little guide book for information whilst in the exhibition and to have something to remind me when I got home!

myra waiman

before going into the exhibition I went to the members room with a non-tate member for lunch. No problem getting in but had a similar experience of chaos and poor variety of food and OH SO EXPENSIVE for what it was. however the plus side always is the best view in London. as for the exhibition, loved the early part but very dispapointed in the second half and felt the energy of the exhibition sort of disappeared. The double doors at the end were shut and the exit wasnt obvious to the extent that went back to the beginning to see if we had missed something. we asked a guard who mumbled something unintelligible.

never mind, now looking forward to magritte and hope that the trip up to liverpool will result in a more satisfactory experience.

Paul Ansell

I had to get round the exhibition pretty briskly: 90 minutes, when I would have preferred three hours. It's a really well organised and argued show. I learned a lot about the historical context of Miro's work. One unanswered question I had was how did he become a painter? Did he go to art school? How and when did he start selling his work? These questions were stimulated by the interesting first room showing his early rural scenes.

I did lose patience at times. Miro at times didn't seem to be living up to my expectations. What used to seem great art to me now seemed just quirky. One problem with Miro is that it is hard to fit him into the continuum of European art. Yes, there is much in his work that is like some paintings by Gorky, and there are similarities with some work by Ernst, but he's really a bit of a one off. That's OK - not everything has to be a precursor of something else to be regarded as great.

I am grateful to the exhibition for showing me Miro's later work. The large panels in the side rooms and also the burnt paintings were quite a revelation.

At the end of my 90 minutes I made a point of going back through the rooms and spending some time concentrating on several works that seemed to stand out. This period of concentration certainly paid dividends, as the pictures gave up more of their secrets than they had at first revealed. I recommend this approach. Don't try to absorb everything in the fascinating Constellations for example - just work hard at one or two of them.


Quite simply one of the best exhibitions I have ever experienced. I had a very basic knowledge of Miro prior to this but now I feel I understand the artist and his influences much better. I found the work incredibly moving and was so overwhelmed walking into the first triptych room that I actually cried. Can anyone please recommend a good biography of the artist as I could not find one in the Tate shop.

Katarina Dimitr...

Fantastic exhibition, must say Miro is like a good vine for me, the older more matured he got the finer art and creative sensibilities he has manifested .Last exibition room is superb,it moved me.


I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition which was made additionally interesting by the chronological hanging and the historical background provided in the multimedia guide. The constellations were beautiful and the triptychs a revelation. I was disappointed by the unexplained removal of the multimedia guide from the iTunes store. I'm surmising that it's in delayed recognition of some obscure copyright stipulation but we should be told.


Really enjoyed it and I hope to return before it closes in September without the Sunday crowds. I love his early Fauvist paintings particularly The Farm. As ever, the exhibition is well arranged and placed into the context of his life and the historical events that shaped his work.


I struggled to enjoy the exhibition, because it was so over crowded. However once I had battled through the first few rooms I rejoiced in the beautiful paintings and loved the burnt ones. Would liked to have seen more 3d work as well. I shall try and go again on a quieter day.

Dee Holgate

Brilliant exhibition and I will return to view it all again. I had seen some works of Miro before at the Tate and had been fascinated by them. The intro film was a great start to an informative and well documented exhibition.


Do they come willingly or are they brought? Are they still "entitled" to be there if they are being a nuisance and disturbing others?

John Ardill

Surprised by works I didn't know or had forgotten - I tend to recall the artist by a few much-exposed themes; pleased by the progression - the ladder - and consequently, perhaps, more interested than I thought I would be. Far, far too much for one visit: I hope to be back.

A general comment prompted by this and all exhibitions and the collection: there is never a postcard (obviously) of a less known work you find particularly striking. It's a great temptation to sneak a photograph. Alas!

kat korba

I loved the Miro - far too much to take in on one trip so have plenty of time to asborb. wonderful exhibition although I did find the 2 triptychs in 1 room difficult as they distracted from each other., even though it was round I would have loved to see the blue in a room all by itself. but again a minor detail in what is a triumph for the tate.. thank you so much..


as someone with autism I feel my relationship is different with art, to me the exhibition filled me with a huge amount of love and peace and has inspired me to keep working on my painting

Linda Taylor

Went yesterday and will definitely have to go again. I didn't know that Miro's work covered such a wide range; I particularly enjoyed seeing the sculptures and the burnt paintings and loved the display of prints. I found the information in each room putting the work into its' political context really interesting because although I already knew about the influence of psychoanalytical theories on Surrealism I hadn't realized just how intensely the political developments of his times affected him as an artist. I also enjoyed seeing the video about his life which was showing in the foyer and I'm glad I saw it before I went into the exhibition rather than it being a part of it. Seeing where and how Miro lived added another very useful layer of contextualization which enhanced enjoyment, particularly of his early work. Maybe I'll use an audio guide next time as other contributors seem to feel it really is useful.


An absolute marvel. Having visited the Fundació Miró many times, I was expecting to enjoy the exhibition but not take anything new away from it. How wrong I was. An extraordinarily wide-ranging insight into his complete career, including many aspects that were new to me. The masonite paintings of rooms 4 and 5 were simply stunning. I could have happily stayed with them until closing. And to discover my favourite Miró, the double-dated self portrait of 1937/60, had been loaned from Barcelona made my day. The triptychs of rooms 10,11 and 12 were the icing on the cake. Clearly a huge amount of work has gone into pulling this exhibition and the effort has really paid off. I can't wait to come back again and again before September.

Mic pool

A great hang, Miro is extraordinary in his visual response to the great events which occurred in his lifetime which are just completely different to anything one might have expected, but placed in context remain utterly tangential but touchingly profound.

And i was deeply moved by the final image of the hand forlornly waving behind the overpainting of the black head


I feel I discovered Miro. Climbed the ladder and escaped into an extraordinarily unique style but developed from a fantastic talent. Congratulations on bringing together the full life story. I would like Tate to consider the notices beside the paintings in future though. They were very difficult to read unless standing right up close, due to the colour scheme, and being sometimes on one side of the picture and sometimes on the other side meant constant crossing about and waiting to read the information. Let's have clear, vivid colours - like Miro!

Roger Player

I really enjoyed the exhibition. It was fascinating to see the way his work evolved and how he related to the politics of his time. I shall certainly pay another visit. The audioguide was very helpful.


I liked Miro before but saw a lot of things I hadn't seen before. The two triptych rooms were amazing Fantastic, well done, Tate. Will come again.

PS I think it's great that children come to Tate as this is a public gallery and as junior citizens they are entitled to come to this sort of thing. I don't mind the noise if I want to quiet I'll go to a private gallery, or wear headphones.

Gary Davy

Hugely touching. I felt I learnt something new about Spanish history whilst viewing. Beautifully hung. Triptych room amazing! No mobiles tho sadly . . .

Geoffrey Sumner

I agree with guy who said "what used to seem great art to me now seemed just quirky". If only some of those who have commented would say why they were so thrilled ! Like many others I very much liked the large canvases with their vast expanses of colour: they have a direct psychological impact. The problem lies rather with the surrealist works. A somewhat passe theory of the nature of mind is not a good basis for enduring art and social commentary. One point on the booklet: I thought it would have helped us to understand what Miro was trying to do if it had explained to us the basics of surrealism - which can otherwise easily appear today as just `quirky'.

Carolyn Serter

Had time to kill and was lucky to be near Tate Modern, so was able to enjoy early morning viewing, so reasonably quiet which I found allowed me to immerse myself into a rapport with Miro's dream/nightmare images... I was amazed at his large canvasses of the 60/70s.

Thank you Miro and Tate Modern

Pip Emery

Beautiful and intensely personal show in its curation. The triptychs simply awesome. And on the other end of the spectrum the Constellations are joyous. Love the integration of words and image and the recuring themes.

Needs a second look; the scale is bit overwhelming. Also sad no mobiles, but otherwise so comprehensive.

Paul Chapman

I've been looking forward to this exhibition since I first read about it and although I only had an hour to spare on Saturday, it didn't disappoint. In fact it's probably the best curated exhibition I think I've ever seen.

The way the rooms were organised and the paintings hung was excellent. The use of darker walls in some rooms added to the drama of the works - much more atmospheric than the sterile white norm.

Creation of the two octagonal rooms for the triptychs was particularly successful I thought - reminded me of the Rothko Chapel in Houston.

Having seen a number of Miros at the Reina Sofia in Mardid in March I thought I knew what to expect but the burnt paintings in particular with their shadows cast on the wall were new to me and quite emotive.

As Leza has said in a post further up "Ingenious and provocative hanging for an ingenious and provocative artist."

10/10 from me. Looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks when I have more time to go round again, this time with the audio guide.

I'd also like to echo the gripes about the members room - chaotic, untidy and one of the toilets was unspeakable. Didn't stay long, just a quick view over the Thames in the sunshine.


I left £80 of books as I felt it was mean beyond belief to want to charge 5p - thought some commonsense might prevail


loved the quietness of a Sunday morning visit ! I really liked the chronology of the work . I felt it was like pieces of a jigsaw fitting together in my understanding. The downside was not the art but grumpy surly staff including a yawn in response to a 'good morning ' on the door !

Anthony G

I was there Sunday at the Tate and also went to the members cafe which is always a great venue to relax and just look out over the Thames. Must be the best members venue in the world, well, in london at least. But re Miro - I am not a great fan and came away after it even more not-a-Miro fan. I am just amazed that so much of his work is very banal and bland and seriously, overblown and wasteful. The huge paintings in two rooms, which are basically just colour with a black line through them, do absolutely nothing for me. I find them a waste of time and as for art, zero. I stood there thinking what would Michelangelo or Picasso or Canaletto or Titian think if they stood there. I would be amazed if they spent more than 1 second there. No Miro does not do it for me. The 50+ sketches were all much the same thing on the same theme. No, give me Hockney, Freud or Dali for that matter. Me - I wouldn't go back to the Miro. Oh and yes, the prices for the food are over the top in the members area - the sandwiches and cakes are just way over the top. Not a good review eh, but that's my Monday opionion. Go Michelangelo !!

Christopher Clarke

This was a complete revelation not least thanks to the content, the arrangement/staging of the pictures and rooms and as important as anything, the really excellent audio guide without which I would have been more than a little perplexed and would certainly not have enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I did. It is a pity that many of the critics who wrote about the exhibition seem not to have taken the trouble to listen to it too for almost all left me with a very different impression. Many seemed to have failed to realise either his technical brilliance or the breadth of his imagination and vision from an early age. Or if they did, they demeaned it by labelling it simplistic and repetitious. Nor did they seem to appreciate the nature of his political protest against the Franco regime and his lifelong support for the liberation of the mind and the spirit which he continued to express well into his old age. Miro expressed himself through the medium he knew best and in which he was truly a master; he was not a politician but was the more influential for not being one. For some reason some of the critics seem to fall into their own trap of criticising the Tate for introducing a political dimension, or at least commentary, whilst either not understanding or at least explaining the nature of Miro's protest. If I were to make one suggestion it would be to invite the critics back to try again as the public and the Tate deserve better! And if I were to be permitted a second suggestion, it would to know if Miro had any relationship with Casals who had similarly heartfelt views on both liberty and Catalonia which he expressed through his music and other means such as his summer school.

Martin Jameson

My daughter and I had a fantastic day at TM seeing this. It was an inspirational collection, and I came out liking Miro even more than I did when I went in (unlike the Gauguin exhibition where I came out thinking he was a fraud and a schmuck). Having said that I had two small criticisms. Firstly, I wondered if the exhibition was actually too big! We spent nearly three hours going round all the rooms, and we were a bit overwhelmed by the end - there just felt like too many pictures to take in. My advice to anyone going to see this is to take a break half way through!

Secondly, I would heartily recommend the audio guide, which was genuinely informative and helpful without being intrusive, however, I came away feeling oddly ignorant about Miro the man. I knew who he was as a painter, and how he interpreted the world through his art... but what of his family, lovers, partners... I was left with no sense of this at all, and that was frustrating.

But overall - an amazing show. Thank you!!