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.


David R Matthews

very comprehensive and interesting survey - however I don't conclude that Miro was a great artist, but an original decorative artist who reached an excellence (rooms 4-8) from which he declined. This is my opinion - the friends with whom I went admired the end rooms but tearing holes out of your canvas is not, to me, creative. The political angle was over-stressed by the curator (as in a show a few years ago on Picasso). These men are artists marginally influenced by politics, not subliminal agitators.

Julie Bowdler

I enjoyed this exhibition much more than I expected to. I was underwhelmed by the vast canvases of almost solid colour but very taken with the smaller intricate pieces and I was most impressed by the scultures and the burnt-out canvases, which I had not previously been aware of. My guest was already a Miro fan and at the end I understood why he was so keen: Miro had, for him at the time he discovered him, introduced vivid colours into a world that was very black and white (TV, newspapers and magazines).


The exhibit was fascinating, and like many others providing comments, I enjoyed it more than I expected to. The reason, I think, is because the captions for each painting were so informative, and helped me to see the language of symbols that emerged in the course of Miro's career. The exhibit was just the right size, too. My thanks to the curators!

Geoff Merchant

The exhibition made me realise that there was far more to Miro than I had previously thought. Seeing such a range of his work gave me far more insight into his intense personal feelings and perception of the world. Much of the work was very moving. Excellent curation, hanging and information really helped me to get the most out of the exhibition.

Brenda Morgan-S...

Gosh! I was shocked to read this review! I must admit it has definitely helped me to decide that I will not visit this exhibition now. I have no time whatsoever for staff who do not know their place in life.

I shall now go elsewhere. Thank you for sharing your awful experience.

David Newport

I thoroughly enjoyed the Miro exhibition. Whilst I have seen some of his work in the past, this is the first time that I have seen such a comprehensive collection which not only shows the different phases of the work, but relates them to the political history of Spain and the developmental influences of Miro's peers. My abiding memories of the exhibition will be: Nature morte au vieux soulier - still life made exciting; The burnt canvases - painting with fire; and the gallery with the triptyches - elegant minimalism with such emotion. Well done to the curators, a great show.

Junko NW

I really enjoyed the exhibition. I have seen some of his works before and even had a chance to visit his museum in Barcelona. However, this exhibition helped me to understand his background, his life and his development as an artist.

Tom Dore

I could only relate to his early work, i.e. that in the first room. Some of the later, large pieces were striking for their use of colour, as shown above, but do not strike me sufficiently when there; perhaps I only need to sit and absorb them longer; this would be aided if Monday-Thursday opening times didn't fall within standard office hours, i.e. it would be nice to attend in the evening.

David Quinn

I went with my niece. She loved it because she is a musician and connects with these things emotionally. I am a bit right-brained so I like to understand things and Miro's symbols meant nothing to me at all. Maybe they meant soemthing to Miro but not to me. I always have the impression with these guys that they start off wishing to communicate with us but end up very solipsistic and don't really care whether they are communicating with us or not. Kandinsky seems the worst offenders in this respect. I got really angry with Kandinsky for his self obsession. Matisse's bits of colured paper similarly. Miro I didn't hate - the colours were nice - but he meant very little to me. The bit on the headset about the black dots pulling us into the blue painting was risible. They did nothing of the sort. Otherwise the background stuff on th headset was really excellent. A retail opportunity was missed though. I bought some very nice Miro plates in the Barcelona tourist office in Plaza Catalunya. It would have been nice to be able to get some more.

Dragana Hartley

Found the exhibition very thought-provoking. For me, it was a wonderful demonstration of the intellectual struggle some artists experience in the process of getting their work 'out'. I loved the triptychs and the Constellation paintings, but struggled to engage with the rest; some of it was like trying to crack a code. But along with the Vorticists exhibition I went to a few weeks back, it's filled yet another gap in my art knowledge.


I was a bit disappointed that the links between miros pre and post wwii were not made stronger. The first half was awesome but I couldn't shake the feeling that where his surreal vision ruled his move towards abstraction lacked something and while the sculptures were cool, they seemed to me decidedly less than Picasso's in a similar vein, eg at the Gagosian exhibition. Maybe if the exhibition had been a bit less concerned with getting the tryptychs and a bit more focused on making a case for them, or if necessary against them. Does the best of late Miro look convincing next to the best of Manzoni, Fontana even Burri?

David Coulby

It's a thorough show but I am not sure Miro is worth the trouble. I am asking myself serious questions about non-representational art at present, especially about painting. Much of Miro's work seems random. What are we admiring exactly? Or am I missing the humour? The Emperor has no clothes. Let's do shows that involve some semiotic content - the juxtaposition with the great Gaugin exhibition is unfortunate - that go beyond the whimsical and the childish.

Lanny Ziering

The Miro exhibition was excellent. It really made me want to explore his art further on my next visit to Barcelona. I especially enjoyed the audio tour, which made great use of interviews and music. The Tate Modern remains one of my favorite museums in the world (not to mention that the cafe has great fish and chips).

Edward Smithson

Excellent and instructive exhibition. Really liked the audio guide which was so informative. Intake well controlled and flow of people not crowded even at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon! Impressed by Miro's energy and commitment right into old age.


I was one of those who thought they didn't really like Miró, and was excited and moved. For the first time I understood something of the evolution and codes of his forms, but was still unprepared for the glorious void of the tryptichs. Wonderful!


Matthew -

The Miro museum in Barcelona was an amazing experience for me some 20 years ago now - I seemed to have the place to myself that day, and fell in love with his work, very easy in that amazing space. On Friday at the Tate Modern I actually learnt a lot more about the development of Miro's work, his influences, the political and social context and that was really interesting, even if the work on display didn't quite move me as much, aside from a few of the works on display. Have to say, though, that it was far too crowded for my liking, a struggle to get a clear view of very much. Shouldn't have left it so late to go, although I do think you let too many people in even so.


I visited the exhibition with my friend and her 20 month old son. I'm pleased to say that not only did Miro's work impress us it also kept a small child entertained through looking for animals, pointing out stars and finding colours. An exhibition for all no matter what the age!!

Iris Bateson

I agree entirely with the thoughts of Chris, above, especially in the aftermath of the London riots. I loved the tryptich and Miro's use of colour. I was particularly interested in the links to the Spanish Civil War and enjoyed the audio information.

Eileen Hagger-Street

Glad I caught the exhibition before it ended - I had always responded to the joyous mood of some of his works, but was unaware of the political [for want of a better word] background. An exile in his own country, a passionate Catalan expressing his love for that culture at a time when both culture and language were harshly suppressed. I too was moved by the 'Condemned Man' triptych, indeed by all those huge, colour-saturated canvasses, and the Zen simplicity of the 'black-line' group. Thank you, Tate, for yet another memorable experience. BTW the audio-visual guide was superb.

Mary-Clare Townsend

The Miro exhibition was well organised and a pleasure to view. Although many of the works were familiar, the earlier ones were of great interest to me and the combination of sculptures, political commentary and related artistic phases provided a satisfying, well-rounded exposition of his work. Many thanks for the opportunity to gain such a comprehensive insight - the exhibition was excellent.


The Miro exhibition is brilliant and I learned far more from it than I did in Barcelona. Esp moved by his later works and above all "The Hope of a Condemned Man". Wish there had been large postcards of these. I don't always like electronic guides but this one was excellent esp the video clips.

sophie chery

Miró would have been pleased, intelligent and beautiful exhibition

Ian Grimbly

@Tate Miro retrospective is magnificent demonstration of his significance. Still don't get him in spite of this?

Eric Perbet

I'm not a keen Miro fan but was delighted by the Tate Modern exhibition nevertheless: I especially liked the room devoted to the 'Constellations' (too bad the entire 23 could not be exhibited!), the 'Mural Paintings I, II and III' and the 'Blues I, II and III'. The early period (rooms 1 and 2) was a discovery for me. The viewing conditions were excellent.

Janet Clark

Excellent exhibition !

however why do you demand blood group evidence in order to purchase the audio narrative... even the acceptability of my membership card was queried. You'd have preferred my passport or credit card.. odd... and rude.

That said... it was a stunning exhibition


What can i say.. I really enjoyed this exhibition. I didn't know all that much of Miro before I went, but left with a good understanding of what the man was about. I really enjoyed how Miro would make each piece as if it were his first and his art would come from within without being too heavily political. My favourite pieces: the 'Barcelona Series' the 'Constellations' and the 'Burnt Canvese'.


I spent a lovely lunchtime last week walking over the wobbly bridge from the City, enjoying the river view over lunch from the Member's Room and strolling through the fabulous Miro exhibition. I returned to work thoroughly refreshed and energised. Thank you Tate Modern for arranging another fabulous exhibition.

p.s. I will try to get back for another viewing before the exhibition ends.

Penelope Lowndes

I loved it! It was interesting to see how Miro's art had developed in the context of Spanish history. Not sure I would have worked everything out without the explanatory notes, so well done for those. I did find some of the bleaker war paintings quite hard to look at - not helped by following this with the Vorticists exhibition at Tate Britain! - but then art is there to make us think as well as look. In contrast I found the blue triptych really peaceful to sit and look at, and so bought the 3 big postcards to remind me of that. One of the best exhibitions you have done so far.

Paul Nicholson

On my second visit, I still don't think much of his later work apart from the burnt canvases (what a great idea!). I whizzed through the show in just over ten minutes and don't know why he's held in such high regard... sorry!

Maureen Vilar

Yes, I also thought that the exhibition was very well-organised. The commentaries accompanying each work were informative and illuminating. I had previously been unaware of all the political ramifications of Miró's work.

I know I went at a very popular time, 5pm on the last Saturday of the exhibition. But considering that the tickets were timed I was surprised at how full most of the rooms were.

Sueanne Matthews

A REVELATION! I had no idea the passion Miro had for his Catalan heritage or political activism, which was sustained throughout his life. So pleased that Miro is on at TATE modern while I am in London. I watched Tim Marlow on Miro on the BA flight from Sydney Australia which cerrtainly provided the entry point for understanding the ladder of escape imagery throughout. So pleased I became a TATE member.

Gill Kimber

I visited the Miro exhibition for the second time yesterday. I took advantage on this visit of the audio/visual guide, it was brilliant. Sometimes I've felt that they can be a bit distracting and can take something away from the live experience of actually being there in an exhibition and experiencing the paintings or exhibits in reality. However on this second visit I was keen to learn more about the historical background of the work, I wasn't disappointed. Fascinating. Highlights for me were: The Constellations, The Farm (the painting that Ernest Hemmingway bought, very wisely!) and his Blue paintings. Oh and also the canvases that Miro burnt, they create such disturbing and yet beautiful images at the same time. The way that they are hung in the gallery with the shadows echoing their message is very powerful. I especially valued the audio/visual guide of the description of their making. Great exhibition, well done and thank you!


Saw some of his work at the Fondation Maeght in Vence and was looking forward to seeing more at this exhibition with my daughter who has always loved his work. Overall a very good and well laid out exhibition.

Unfortunately have to agree with the many comments about grumpy staff, exorbitant food and drink prices.

Much prefer the earlier work in general, although certainly appreciate the burnt canvasses and will not yet quite dismiss the outwardly simplistic tryptiches.

Fascinating to learn more about the politics and turmoil in Spain during so much of his life: they have obviously inspired and influenced his work.

Someone earlier mentioned his use of single colours and I noticed that Green hardly ever appears, basically black with splashes of red, blue and yellow.

Hope to get back for a second visit when will definitely use the audio.

Basically an excellent exhibition and very informative.


Terrific! Unlike several previous contributors I found the staff friendly and knowledgeable. I was disappointed that there was only a very restricted sale of prints and those available were only in a few sizes. The Audio guide was excellent and a MUST. Having recently visited the Leighton House Museum I was concerned that the use of video would be similar: patronising and poorly produced. However video was used to augment the narrative and very useful. I spent about 2½ hours there and this was insufficient to fully use the guide; would like to return if time permits. The exhibition was well laid out and each piece given enough room to breathe. The overall effect was that I realise how little I really knew about Miró and am now looking forward to reading the catalogue at leisure. Congratulations to the organisers.

Jacqueline Rokotnitz

We absolutely loved the exhibition, it was as always with TM well curated, informative and exciting. I'll come again with my grandchildren.


Totally absorbing and without doubt for me, total confirmation of the genius of Miro. The number of works was probably just about right even though another visit would have given to me the opportunity to understand how art can affect how we view the world. Thank you

Ella Huhne

This exhibition is incredibly inspiring, the large blue canvases are wonderful, it is a fabulous collection of Miro's work. I intend to return, it has started a sequence of ideas for my next project.

Bryn Walls

It literally left me light-headed - the rate and originality of development was amazing.

decima noble

Miro,a perfect selection,exquisitely hung, what more do you want... "a jump in the feet" moment when we entered the blue triptych room. thank you.


A large and impressive collection of Miro's work demonstrating his impressive use of colour. Not the finest exhibit we have seen at Tate but representative of his era and generation of modern painters. I felt as I moved around the galleries I was intruding on the journey of someone very disturbed finding solace from his own unique route of expression. I'm glad I visited even though I didn't understand the hype, there are far better painters to have emerged from Spain.

Neville Godwin

As a member I try and get to all the exhibitions even if it's not exactly my cup of tea. This was the case with the Miro exhibition. A lot of the work left me cold but I found the triptychs much more successful with their own rooms. They seemed to fill the space beautifully even if as one poster above noted 'it just had a line going across it'!

The fact that as a member I pay upfront for a year makes me try stuff I wouldn't normally as it won't cost me anymore. A great surprise on the visit was finding the exhibition of Diane Arbus photography. I didn't know it was on and it's the largest collection of her work I've seen exhibited. Truly wonderful.

Brodie Gibson

I took my 8 year old God Daughter and once she had listened to the story & history behind pictures she understood how the surreal aspect worked (I didn't do the explaining the "iPod guide" did). As she said, if you looked at the picture without knowing you often wouldn't guess what it was but once you knew it was easy to see and understand. Wish I was that smart at 8 !

She sat and drew 7 or 8 of the works into her sketch book. She loved the vibrant colours and I bought her the catalogue so that she had other to look at and learn from once she was at home. She, like me, is a fan. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will go back with my wife.

My advice would be to go if you haven't or are thinking if you should or not.

Must say my only downside was the food in the Memebers' café, not great.


Wonderful exhibition. Not too many people filing through so could spend as long as I wanted on certain pieces. Thank you...


I became a member of the Tate just because I knew Miro was coming and that I would want to go more then once! I was not disappointed - and actually although I have seen his work in Barcelona and Palma still saw new material. Loved the triptics. I went twice in a week and the second time with two six year old boys who loved it too. I was worried whether they would be disruptive for other visitors -but actually they were busy drawing and very good and other visitors commented on how lovely it was to see young children at exhibitions and the talent they were showing in their art work. Miro's comments on his work as child like obviously makes this very appealing to children. Might it be worth (especially over school holidays) considering how children's activities could be organised around Miro (the general children's activies are good too).

I want to see Miro and wear the t-shirt! Any chance of more choice of t-shirt prints and colours? And the umberalls had run out!

In relation to the main gallery - the boys were dissappointed that they didn't see any "Kedenski" who is on the national curriculum - and none of the many staff we asked seemed to know where it was - is there any in Tate Modern?

Well done.


I loved this exhibition so much that I became a member the second time I came to see it. The audio guide sets a context around Miro's work which helped me get more out of the experience.

Peter Marshall

I went to the Miro exhibition soon after it opened and again more recently. I was exhilerated by the "Hope of a condemned man" triptych - an emotional reaction rarely engendered by paintings. A shame one of the pictures from the other triptych in the room was missing "for conservation" on my second visit. The members' room IS pricey but a wonderful place to sit and to take a friend.

david abramovich

This was a wonderful exhibition where we saw paintings & prints that we had never seen before. I did find it very difficult to understand Miro's imagery & will read some books about his work. I do hope they explain some of his thinking though I think some artit's work comes from their subconscious. Critic's explanations do not always get it right.

Brian Steedman

I have seen Miro's work in Barcelona, and was not looking for 'more of the same'. I felt the exhibition was well constructed, had sufficient difference to make it interesting, and was very accessible. It presented Miro very much for me as a person responding acutely to the uncomfortable/horrible world in which he found himself, and I was touched by his sincerity and humanity. The division of rooms chronologically, and the explanatory text enhanced this sense for me.

Pete Laurence

My wife and I went to the exhibition on Saturday, having read some good reviews about it. I remember some of the sculptures we saw when we visited Barcelona some years ago. We found it really interesting as some of the art is quite challenging. I find it always helps to read the narratives linked to the key pictures. Together with the booklet, they provided more than enough background information on the history of Miro's times and the context and circumstances in which he painted. Was surprised to see some of the early non-abstract pictures and you could see how his experimenting with style developed. The permanent galleries complemented the exhibition perfectly. Great lunch and a really nice day.

Fran Moore

It was interesting to discover the complex issues behind Miro's very simplistic compositions and to see how his work changed through his career. Some lovely pieces.