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.
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.
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.
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.
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