Hello, I am Marko Daniel, one of the curators of the Joan Miró exhibition.

One of the most exciting aspects of seeing our exhibition come into being has been unpacking the works from their crates. One example of this was the relatively small crate from the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Palma de Mallorca. This Foundation was set up almost exactly thirty years ago, in March 1981, by Joan Miró and his wife Pilar Juncosa and included his studios together with all the works, objects and archive material they contained.

Joan Miro Paper Scroll 1

Unravelling a marvel: Joan Miró’s ‘Untitled (Paper Scroll)’ 5 February 1972, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca

© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

María Luisa Lax, curator at the Foundation, first showed me the scroll nearly two years ago and I vividly remember the excitement of seeing the small, fragile roll of paper coming out its container. It is just under 20 cm high and nearly thirty feet long so you can imagine my astonishment when it was gradually unrolled by their conservator.

Joan Miro Untitled Paper Scroll 2

Joan Miró’s ‘Untitled (Paper Scroll)’ 5 February 1972, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca

© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

Even though the object is quite simple, just ink on paper, each new section revealed a different type of mark-making. It looked like an exquisite compendium of the many diverse symbols and characters Miró invented throughout his life. At the same time it showcased some of the different ways in which Miró physically worked with materials: the techniques range from fluid, light calligraphy to areas where he worked and re-worked the paper so hard that holes appear.

Joan Miro Untitled Paper Scroll 3

Joan Miró’s ‘Untitled (Paper Scroll)’ 5 February 1972, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca

© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

As I cast my eyes along the length of the scroll, I couldn’t help but think of the decades of experience Miró channeled into this beautiful, fragile, thin strip of paper. We felt that, in the final room of the exhibition, it might give you a chance to pause, too, or perhaps to reflect on some of the images and ideas from earlier works that are echoed here.

Joan Miro Untitled Paper Scroll 4

Joan Miró’s ‘Untitled (Paper Scroll)’ 5 February 1972, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca

© Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011

If you are interested in this sequential type of art-making, look out for the course on 6 June at Tate Modern called Unfolding Ideas and Processes: Sequences, Series and Scrolls that artist Sarah Sparkes has devised in response to the Miró exhibition.

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

Comments

d.mcardle

nope ,Schnabel good, perfectly respectable heir to Raushenberg , Polke etc. Holocaust? you might be confusing him with Anselm Kiefer. Smashed bloody crockery speaks volumes to women, see,for one thing ; montage is punk, punk is good.

Tony

languishing! - I see that about Anish, and him using poor Ai wei Wei's name to get even more kudos (only joking!)- but that does remind me of a school trip to see a Julian Schnabel exhibition in the 1980s. Julian was then one of the leading and richest artists around. When looking at his work, which consisted of large canvases covered with paint splattered broken crockery, and representing the suffering of the Nazi holcaust, I could only see the the actions of a wealthy man having (coke fuelled?) fun in a posh part of NYC. How naive and untrained my eyes were. How I have missed out on such great wonders of our culture through my own ignorance!

rafael

you're right rob,and i like your oils paintings

Ann Kennett

It was fascinating I liked the constellations my husband the white Triptychs. But the best thing was it was the first exhibition we have been to during the last year when we could actually see the pictures properley, because it was not crowded!
Well done TATE

David

I loved the exhibition. I thought the early work at Mont Roig was amazing - he could have carried on doing that for the whole of his life and I'd've been happy. And the late triptychs were extraordinary, so much power in, apparently, so little happening. I was interested in the audio commentary putting Miro in his historical perspective - I couldn't help but think of what is happening in Syria right now.

finally, I also appreciated it not being crowded, but I guess I was lucky visiting on an uncrowded day.

Robert Sequeira

Imagination is limitless,and the ability to share your feelings to the world using art is a gift.(fullcremo)

Vesna Milinkovic

A very different atmosphere at Miro, as compared with say Rothko - The Late Series. An electric atmosphere and gravitas present at Rothko is lacking at Miro; we came away sensing that Miro had compromised himself in the latter part of his career. The Barcelona Series is wonderful; the long wall display is arguably the most powerful aspect of the exhibition and shows a raw and pure creative Miro. The Constellations series captures why the world loves Miro; polished, confident and playfully original, pure genius. The exhibition hints at a change of pace that coincides with American Abstract Expressionism - it certainly does appear that this compelling new wave knocked Miro off balance. The calligraphy scroll saves the end of the exhibition, a rare treat. As we pondered outside, my partner asks 'If Miro were able to objectively rank himself as one of the great contemporary artists now, would he?', and my gut response to this, 'almost'.

David OCT

I went with daughter and partner. None of us knew much of Miro apart from the obvious. It was a fascinating journey of one man's development of a personal language. Most fascinating was how he became even more radical in his later years.

One comment:this is a big exhibition and one suffers cultural overload because of the amount of artwork on display. Would it be possible for future similarly large exhibitions to allow visitors to have a break, a coffee or whatever, half-way through? A break to digest what one has seen would allow one to be all the more appreciate a second course

rosimar suzano

The merit of the exhibition was to show how for a genius like Miro art penetrated all spheres of life and defined his engagement in society.

I strongly recommend the audio guide for the ones who are not that familiar with the artist.

Rosimar

alison salmon

I think its in ones nature, we always look for patterns in things and also meanings. My granddaughter aged two looked for ages at a poster in my room and eventually said 'oh its houses!' She was intrigued and searched for meaning without prompting.

Ingrid Khedun

I absolutely loved this exhibition. I only knew a little about Joan Miro and copied a few of his later works myself as a teen art student at school but to actually see them all and indeed the many different sides to his art was overwhelming. Particularly liked his early work, totally different from the later work. You don't have know anything about him to appreciate this amazing collection. On occasions I found myself drifting off to the Spanish civil war imagining what I would have done if I had been around then. I certainly learnt far more by coming. For those of you who want a massive hit without the caffene, this is the one. A stunning show Tate, I am coming again, 2 hours and 12 rooms was not enough time for me.

pat rivera

I loved the exhibition and even the works I wasn't so keen on had merit in my eyes.
I was tremendously inspired especially by the early work, also the copper paintings and the Barcelona series. unbelievable work to come out of the era and background. Unfortunately I really had to rush the last three rooms due to the exhibit closing and will now have to visit the exhibition again, but came home with a desire to paint for the first time in years!

d.mcardle

'sublime' hm old-fashioned word ,reminds me of Anish,languishing in his chateau pondering 'the tragedy of being' (existential angst for one so successful,surely not! ) Religion is religion,politics is politics,life is a beautiful gift ,alienation is a cowards anger,poverty is poverty,capitalism is capitalism,we are all implicated .

Tony

Why should people be interested in your feelings? We all have individual feelings and visions of life, but to believe that we can show these to others by daubing coloured paste on a board is, quite frankly, deluded.
Take a deeper and more open minded look into the way art has developed over the past few centuries.

d.mcardle

and yet feelings can help us to establish a hierarchy of values the sharing of which help us to organise society,but yes 'self expression' is a bit beside the point.Most people aren't that different,the main difference is surely those who care about others & those who don't ?

Tony

but if were both to look at, for example, a photo of a bag of rice on a kitchen table, our feelings towards that image and our ideas about the image would be very different. This is because our experiences of life, rice,kitchen tables etc. and the associations we form in our minds are so very individual.

d.mcardle

individual really? or formed by our circumstances ie others? and held in common with many others too most probably.

d.mcardle

freedom of course is the important thing though isn't it whether of the individual or collective voice.Rising above the oppression of others . Outdated cultural 'norms'
included,though anarchy need not apply!because it's usually so out of control, can be easily exploited .

Tony

the ideas and feelings perhaps won't be so original, but the combination of associations, feelings and memories will be wholly individual

Tony

I think that the oppressive condition of the 'art establishment' conditions us so much in how we view the art of the past 50 years that it renders it almost worthless

d.mcardle

ha, no no, big investment bucks there!

Tony

oh yes, I meant apart from creating spurious investment opportunities

d.mcardle

and yet to be fair if one sees good work one stops thinking about that ,this week : Nigel Hall's drawings ,infact a lot of work I respect. , It's how work is used and what is said that is usually the problem ; overblown rhetoric on poor work which supports the art business/career critics etc.

Tony

Exactly! A genuinely sublime drawing doesn't need any rhetoric to support it, or famous names or connections. It is not about ego or fashion, but unfortunately most of artworld is.

Tony

To be so excited about such an object displays a lack of understanding about the wonder of life and the world around us.

Tony McMahon

Found Miro disappointing. Didn't relate to anything he did except perhaps his earlier work.His work seems to have been accorded some status due to the spanish civil war and his Catalan heritage. Just didn't do it for me but that's what art is like; some you love, some you don't and ther's no point trying to explain why!

d.mcardle

see.....Chinese.

The Top 10 Tips

Would suggest to add something form Lanning Gallery. There is a lot of online stuff from Lanning Gallery available very easily through google. One question at the end. IS ART SOMETHING TO BE LEARNT OR IS IT IN ONE'S NATURE? would appreciate a quick response.

d.mcardle

or is it in one's nature to learn something about it .

Graham Morris

I found the exhibition intriguing and inspiring - though not wholly convinced by some of the curator narrative in the rooms. What'd come across was the ladder of escape theme - Miro seemed so often to use his art as much to turn from political realities as to engage with them. But I guess both are responses to political & social events. The exhibition didn't manage to convey the sheer exuberance and joy in many late works (the seeds of which were in the early Taragona landscapes in some way, as well as a Matisse-like lve of pattern decoration). Overall it was fairly dark in tone - but this is not the case so much with the catalogue, which I am now enjoying.

Most moving experience - sitting amongst the large triptychs. Absolutely unforgettable!

Julia Coulton

I never really thought Catalan Surrealist artist Joan Miró was massively my cup of tea - usually preferring instead less abstract painters - but I decided that the new exhibition of his more significant works at Tate Modern was too good an opportunity to miss to test out this theory. It arranged in order of his life, so that you can closely follow his style and works as they developed, and were influenced by other events that shaped the world that he lived in, usually political ones.
The earliest paintings in the show are from a period when the young Miró was taken by his parents from his birthplace of Barcelona, to the beautiful village of Mont-roig near Tarragona. He fell in love with this rural idyll and produced wonderful paintings such as 'The Farm' from 1921-22, and 'House with Palm Tree' from 1918. They are clearly works created with love and passion for the place, and their colour and fine detail, together with their symbolism, makes them the standout parts of the show for me.
Miró went on to embrace surrealism, and use his art to rage against the right wing politics and dictatorships in Spain. Some of his works from the 1930's use vivid colour and almost psychedelic images as in 'Still Life with Old Shoe'. I know he used his art as a political protest because that is what I am told, but I can't say I would have a clue about his intended meaning unless it was pointed out to me.
One of the main talking points is the room with the 1970's six huge almost blank canvasses in it, with horizontal curvy lines and a splash of colour on them. I can see why others find them impressive, but for me, I couldn't wait to go back to the beginning of the exhibition and delight again in those early works when he was obviously painting from love, and in vivid detail. So I did enjoy this exhibition, and it did serve to affirm by lack of engagement with his surrealist art, but I found an early Miró that I really loved too, and that was a very special experience.

Pascale Petit

This was one of the most moving exhibitions I've been to. It is beautifully curated and it enlarged my knowledge of Miró's art. I adored The Farm and could look at it for hours. The Constellations have always been favourites, but the triptychs were a revelation. I spent a long time sitting in front of them, scribbling notes for a poem. I love your description of the unrolling of the scroll, and the thought that it contained his life's mark making, shall take another look next time. Thank you.

Robert Sequeira

I agree with you, but time fly when you're there.