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.



Ill go this weekend and ill write about the exhibition in art234.com



Joan Miro also in Emma, Modern Art Museum in Espoo, Finland - right close to city of Helsinki. http://www.emma.museum/en/node/419

Looking forward to see Miro in Tate Modern!



I love Miro and I love the Tate Modern too.

Joan Mira

Hello Matthew,

This is Joan Mira (not a relative of Joan Miró). I'm a Digital Developer working at the Royal Opera House here in London.

My wife is writing a blog about visual arts in London called "Momardi" (http://momardi.com) and we were wondering if we could get a press pass for the exhibit of Joan Miró.

We are fans of Joan Miró's work and want to write about the exhibit at Momardi.com

Best regards,

Joan Mira

René Debeaune

I had exactly the same feeling when visiting this excellent exhibition. It provides much better insight in the artist than a visit of the Foundation in Barcelona.

paul rennie

Miro is a big and significant artist in 20C. The exhibition confirmed this. This is specially so, I think, within the political and cultural contexts of Spain and Catalonia. In these contexts, his work is freighted with symbolism and meaning. I'm not always sure it's there, except in the eye of the beholder. Still, that's fine. We need to find these meanings in something. I liked the visual connections Miro made between writing, calligraphy and colour in the paintings. The most exciting work seemed lively, immediate and spontaneous. That's not an easy trick for a politically responsible artist to pull off.

Allison Chownsmith

We visited on Monday and were really impressed by the work of an artist I was not previously very familiar with. One question though... My son particularly liked the triptych of paintings towards the end which are white backgrounds with thin black lines going across them. The one on the far left was his favourite. When we looked at these in the book about Miro for sale in the shop at the end, it is shown the other way up. Which way is right?, or is there no right and wrong way up?

Angela Blackburn

I always thought Miro rather fun but this exhibition wasn't. Too much theory.


Yes I did attend the show on Thursday. First of all it was great that unlike the Gaugan exhibition, there was room to breathe, time to reflect on the work and time to stand back and actually see it, rather than fight with tall people and battling with backs and bums. I am still deciding what I think, but since being a member, I am able to go back time and time again, so I can then make a good informed decision on what I think, though at this point there are a couple of works that stand out, but one visit is never enough, I need more, but do enjoy his confidence with is black lines on the large canvases, also the reflection on the wall from the burnt series of work, thats especially challenging as the work is damaged, but that also makes the work, is it, or is it not damaged?? but the reflections are divine. His three royal wooden sculptures have an element of fun, though not quite taken with them. His bronzes are cheeky, elegant all bunched up together. I was inspired, and need to return. I think like Guagan I went about four or five times taking other people, and each time when I returned with someone else I saw something different. The large canvases in the two rooms hit you as you walk in the door, but only possible due to having the space around them rather than hundreds of eager people.

Sarah Brown

I very much enjoyed the exhibition. It was nice to see some great favourites such as 'The Farm' in the flesh. As a postgraduate student focussing on Miró it would take several air miles to see such a rich collection of works by Miró.

The settings for the large triptychs are particularly poignant and the discussion of Miró's Catalan identity formed an interesting thread throughout the exhibition.

I wonder though why the selection of works trails off at the end of the Franco Regime and there is little focus after 1974? But an excellent exhibition nonetheless, with quite interesting settings for the works and each work is displayed in a sensitive and fitting manner.

Roger Cook

There is a kind of disruptive violence in Miró that has its source both within the body and outside it; it is the violence of life itself. Its source is in nature; it is sexual and political. Miró lived the liberating libidinal energies that were dammed up in the repressive political forces that for him were embodied in the Gorgon-headed Fascism of Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany and which lives on today in the repressive regimes of the Africa and the Middle East and in the destructive self-annihilating death drives that Freud discovered deep in the human psyche of everyone of us. We might see Miró's whole endeavour as revolving around the questions that Michel Foucault asked in his Preface to Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: How does one keep from being fascist, even (especially) when one believes oneself to be a revolutionary militant? How do we rid our speech and our acts, our hearts and our pleasures, of fascism? How do we ferret out the fascism that is ingrained in our behavior?

Miró felt the violent energy in the earth itself; its destructive and creative force manifest in volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsnamis,, as well as in earth's ability to renew itself. His great early painting The Farm (1921-22) bears witness to this rootedness: "The Farm was a résumé of my entire life in the country. I wanted to put everything I loved about the country into that canvas -- from a huge tree to a tiny little snail".


Yes Marcus I agree with all you say, I too was dissapointed at a visit to an exhibition in Cyprus which was uninspiring! I can understand his life, and how politics influenced his art much better now.


Didn't like the early stuff much, but was unbelievably moved by the burnt canvases also, but to a lesser extent, by the white triptych with single line. I will definitely go again.

The commentary blathered on about how 'they wore no safety clothes when they sent fire to the canvases' in a rather 'don't try this at home' way and the exit door into the cafe from the last room needs sorting out.

Campbell Malone

Like some other visitors I had been to the Miro museum in Barcelona and had been profoundly disappointed. I had rather written him off as someone who was over prolific and endlessly repeated the same ideas so went to this exhibition with low expectations. In fact I thought the work in the Tate exhibition to have been skilfully chosen to show his development and his range. I found much of his work moving in a way that surprised me.

Tom Rowland

Inspirational exhibition, which I feel the need to go back to as soon as possible! The triptych mural rooms are glorious - brilliantly hung.


Brillian exhibition -so diverse - hard to understand that this was the same artist. Particularly loved "The Farm" and Miro's earlier works. Well done, Tate!

Sally Ford

I loved the exhibition and especially enjoyed seeing the wide range of work throughout his whole career, the majority of which I liked. Room 4 was my favorite. A good exhibition for my 3.5 year old daughter to enjoy also. I will have to go back for another visual treat!

Viv Schwarz

I ran into the exbibition exactly on closing time Saturday night and walked around with only a few other people, most of them were quietly discussing their favourite pieces, or sitting on the benches together contemplating the large canvasses (none of which I'd ever looked at twice in print, all of which incredibly engaging in reality). The atmosphere was wonderful. I am very familiar with many of the works on display in print, but was amazed at the difference - the characters are much more delicately painted than I ever realised. They are full of expression and emotion - frustration, confusion and determination that I never knew was there. I looked at the little dog howling at the moon for a long time - I had always seen it as an abstract representation without much recognisable emotion, but it was like looking at a living creature. I'm very impressed and grateful to have seen it (and I'll go back and look again).

Georgia Riga

Would need to visit the exhibition again, as it was too, too, too crowded and didn't enjoy it as much. I particularly liked his earliest works, very intense colour. Constellations are also captivating. However, not sure if I felt this "major retrospective". I have seen many of his works abroad and was absulutely fascinated in his Barcelona "home" - Fundacio Joan Miro. I would also liked to have seen more of his sculptures. The King, Queen and Prince installation...what is that about?!

James Parr

I visited the Miro exhibition, I was feeling ill and I said I didn't like it. But I didn't forget it and today I can remember some of the shapes and colors.I think I will visit again but maybe listen to music next time on my headphones.unfortunately I'm at work now so will have to stop writing.here things that are too complicated get erased.

naseem fk

Miro's paintings as the threat of aerial bombardment hung over Catalonia made me have a suddent sense of how it must feel to be in a similar situation in Libya right now. It had been newspaper info till then, but those particular works brought me up short.


Picasso met Miro when he was 20 but did not look at his work then ,two years later he bought a self portrait from him.Later P.said of him "for an awfully long time now he's been running after the moon dressed as a little boy" of course P.could be very cruel (make art not love) and when he had taken what he wanted from Miro's "ectoplasms" he moved on but then he drove a tank through art leaving many for dead ! but hey needs must! P.was as sponge but not a plagiarist .


The Constellations were extraordinary. No prints can do them justice. I'm not ashamed to say that there were tears!! Many thanks, Tate.


To the girl eating the sandwich at 905pm on Saturday night on the balcony facing St. Pauls, wish I'd said 'Hi'.

Hope you enjoyed the exhibition...


I know this will be ignored but... yes of course the work is wonderful and it is a real coup to get the triptychs together but they needed much more air and light. In fact the whole hang needed more air and light. The lighting had the same atmosphere as a bedsit on an overcast day lit by a 60W bulb under a flyblown lampshade.


The exhibition is very well curated and the audio/info handset greatly added to my enjoyment and knowledge of Miro. Personally, the highlight of this exhibition was the short video of Miro as an old man still experimenting with his art by burning canvases and the excitement he felt at the unique work he had created. Although Miro and Picasso were contemporaries there was no mention of them ever having met; their lives must have crossed at some moments in time and I wonder if they were friends, enemies, rivals, or maybe they chose not to acknowledge their respective talents.

Susan Graber

loved the exhibition - especially his early works with their intense colour - the Barcelona series is a wonderful way of expressing oneself in 50 different ways and yet they all look alike. I think Miro, like Picasso, is like Shakespeare, once you get 'it' you can appreciate it so much.

GP Hyde

Great if you like Miro. Rather obvious statement but, although this is a very comprehensive show, I began to see Surrealism as a movement that today has very limited appeal. First two rooms were very informative and interesting as it showed how Miro moved from realistic processing of images from his native lanscape to a new language of abstraction. But after that it was much of a muchness. Any doodle will do, if you're a surrealist. This is where Tate membership really pays off as you can dip inot exhibitions "free" and not feel aggrieved if it's not for you. As I said, brilliant show for Miro enthusiasts but it did very little for me.

Jenny Chandler

I went on the first afternoon and was extremely impressed with the exhibition. I didn't feel rushed at all looking at the pictures and particularly liked being able to sit down and look at some of the paintings from a distance. I thought the way they were laid out was fantastic and the descriptions of the pictures and information about Spain and Franco were most interesting. A thoroughly stimulating afternoon.


oh dear I should have learned from the Gauguin exhibition not to go on a Saturday morning, as well as screaming babies, buggies the size of small cars, there was a child on a scooter yesterday so I didn't really see much of the exhibition, I shall have to find a time when there are just grown ups - my fault entirely as the little I did manage to concentrate on looked amazing

jane montague

I very much enjoyed the Miro exhibition and was very interested in the accompanying narrative which contextualised his art within the political landscape of Spain. I notice today that the art critics of the Observer and the Telegraph contest this representation of him as a 'political' painter

jane montague

I very much enjoyed the Miro exhibition and was very interested in the accompanying narrative which contextualised his art within the political landscape of Spain. I notice today in the art critics of the Observer and the Telegraph contest this representation of him as a 'political' painter


I did not know much about Miro before I went to the exhibition, apart from the most famous paintings everybody has seen on posters or in art books somewhere - and I was so impressive to see the versatility in his work, the political undercurrents, the different techniques and most of all, I absolutely LOVED his colours. I stood in this room with the two tryptichs - the Blue series and the Orange-Yellow/Green/Red series - and was completely blown away. They are so powerful, and it makes such a huge (!) difference to see the actual paintings, and to see them all together. They moved me on a very deep level, and I thought that places like this are my personal cathedrals... I also loved the Miro's humour and sometimes childlike style, I got the impression he must have enjoyed himself thoroughly with some of his paintings :). And I was surprised to find that some of his drawings and motifs in his paintings remind me a lot of contemporary cartoonists' work - does somebody know more about this? Is he quoted as an influence by some of them?

As you can see, I was very happy with the time I spent in this exhibition, I left it very inspired and I am looking forward already to Magritte ;)...


Well done for a beautiful exhibition which I enjoyed very much yesterday afternoon. I particularly liked the audio guide which I found very informative and offered a good selection therefore pace to the viewing of the paintings. I think that there are videos on the audio guide that could complement the exhibition and should be projected in one of the rooms.

Aaron Bravo Gallo

an inspiring exhibit ... the journey from room to room has been well curated ... i enjoy the cartoon-like quality of his works and the use of bold colors

Gill Hamper

I was familiar with some of Miro's work but it was fascinating to see all of it, i had no idea he was so prolific. His pictures in the early days are radically different to the later works, some of which are simply a pencil line across a piece of paper.His use of colour makes for vibrant images, even the surreal ones are captivating though i don't pretend to understand them. My only complaint is that the exhibition was so full of people that i was unable to see some of the works. But i plan to come back when the children are back at school and it will hopefully be less full. A hundred times more interesting than the Orozco exhibition which i saw during the same visit.

Linda Chapman

Like everyone writing to you, I feel enthusiastic about the exhibition. It was wonderful to experience the artist's lifetime of work, to see how it developed and the risks he took. I love the sense of pure colour generated and the emotional effect it has on us. Do we Brits have anyone with whom we can identify as a national spirit in the same way as the Catalans can identify with Miro?

Marion Lawrence

Matthew, Well negotiable in a wheelchair. My husband John and I enjoyed the exhibition. The curating on a basis of time was helpful, but I feel it could have done with a more clearly stated time-line. John had been looking forward to 'understanding' Miro but left as confused as ever and concluded that understanding needed to be replaced by just liking. Overall, a very good exhibition well displayed, helpful in understanding the art of the time. It was a surprise to lean that, together with contemporaries, Varangeville (which we visit) played a part in so many lives.


a very complete and unespected exibition , very interesting for me to see the big size paintings and the burnt ones which i did not even know they existed. as usual a very good exibition held in your museum.


and Gaudier - Brzeska worked in a London railway arch from about 1910.(killed WW1 of course)


I loved this exhibition and will definitely be coming back. Thinking about the work he did during the Spanish civil war in particular felt very poignant considering current events in Libya and elsewhere.


Linda C.,we have people like Ivon Hitchens and Andrew Lanyon for starters,but a big bombastic career is another thing I think we all realise, to making seminal works which increase and grow a collective project if you like. The dealer Dalmau kick started Miro's commercial success whilst M.himself admitted"colour was easy for me but with form I had great difficulty".OK it takes all sorts,but the post cubist project with its far more philosophical spirituality has less erm..general appeal? perhaps.

Margaret Pepper

I must admit although I am not nessarily an admirer of mid 20th century art, I thought that this exhibition itself was far better than I had expected. The problem that I have in "reading" his art is that I don't speak his artistic language, and don't have his cultural background, but given that the paintings were highly original (for their time) and use of motif quite striking. At least he did his own "thing" and I feel got immense satisfaction from the finished artworks. The exhibition I thought was well presented. I must admit that I thought that the rooms with the larger paintings could have had more background as to what precisely what message Miro was attempting to give to the viewer. Perhaps there was no message, political or otherwise, but then I prefer art with an obviously message.

Norman Harrington

I had not thought too much about Miro - but this well put together exhibition has located him within my thoughts. It was great to see the surreal Farm / Yards and his early work and how the following work was a short hand for the what had preceeded it.

Judith Clifford

The exhibition was mind-blowing in its intensity and depth. Miro's use of colour and texture was amazing but I could not follow his imagery! Stunning but not easy!

alice wood

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours at the Miro exhibition on Sat 16 April. Interesting to see the progression of work over a lifetime and to see that Miro was still pushing boundaries and experimenting with new techniques even towards the very end of his life. Thank you for an inspiring morning.

John Rooth

I have always enjoyed Miro's work and surrealism is my favourire genre of art. What seems to be amazing is that he didn't appear to serve an "apprenticeship" in portrait or landscape painting and even the early farm works were heavily cubist or what was to become surrealist influenced. I would like to have known which other artists work he had seen in order to pick up these influences.Was the nude on staircase influenced by Duchamp, or vice-versa (not sure which came first) , and many of the images are Baconesque is this coi-incidence or influence? This was an excellent exhibition, it was the first time that I had seen some of the abstract type works such as the minimalist colour slabs and the triptyches. I also hadn't realised just quite how much political angst went into his work. The contradiction between being internationally recognised, yet undisplayed and relatively unknown in his home country, particularly in Catalonia which he obviously loved, must have been a difficult one to come to terms with and thus greatly influenced the subject matter, but I suspect that he was luckier than many such as the German expressionists who were severly repressed (and worse)by Hitler. Hope to go along a few more times before it finishes.

Gill Stockbridge

I learned so much about Miro and very much enjoyed the journey through the exhibition, even though I was intellectually and emotionally drained by the end! I found the Barcelona series horrifying and the huge blue triptych calming and unlifting! Having seen the Watercolour exhibition in the morning, it presented an intriguing and fascinating contrast ....