Joan Miro The ladder of escape Tate Modern exhibition banner

Room 9

By the 1960s, painting and sculpture once more resumed a central position in Miró’s work after a decade of concentration on ceramics. In sculpture he juxtaposed unrelated found objects, a practice that had its roots in Surrealism but in Miró’s hands also looked back to folkloric traditions and the assemblage of disparate elements in the work of the great Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Elevating ordinary objects to a grand scale, Miró seemed to challenge the bombastic post-war monuments that proliferated across Spain and Europe.

Miró’s international reputation had now reached new heights and he was widely acknowledged as a key figure of the interwar avant-garde who continued to work with immense creativity. One particular practice was the extensive revision of canvases held in storage since he left Paris. These double-dated paintings give a powerful sense of both change and continuity. Drawing upon his personal vocabulary of signs, Miró created some of the great lyrical abstractions of the period. Within Spain, however, he exhibited very little and avoided any collaboration with official exhibitions. His life-line to the wider world ran through Paris and New York.