Joan Miró (1893-1983)
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Joan Miró (1893-1983)


Joan Miró (1893-1983)
signed and dated 'Miró .27.7.24' (lower right)
pencil on painted panel
10 5/8 x 16 ¼ in. (26.9 x 41.3 cm.)
Executed on 27 July 1924
Galerie Marumo, Paris.
Private collection, France, by whom acquired from the above in the 1980s; sold, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 11 March 2019, lot 18.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


ADOM (Association pour la défense de l'oeuvre de Joan Miró) has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Infused with the whimsy and fantasy that defines Joan Miró’s art, Composition is one of a compelling series of three works that the artist created on 27 July 1924 during his summer sojourn in Montroig (Dupin & Lelong-Mainaud, nos. 198, 199). Using white painted panel as his ground, Miró created abstract compositions made up of signs and ciphers, lyrical lines, both biomorphic and geometric, and strange forms seemingly inspired by the natural world in these radically simplified and purified works. It was this small and rare series that sparked an outpouring of similar works that flowed from the artist’s hand over the following months.

Composition encapsulates a pivotal moment as Miro’s art was making its first dramatic leaps into a new poetic realm of pictorial expression, as the artist experimented with automatic techniques and began to embrace a looser, more open idiom. As he wrote to his friend, the Surrealist poet Michel Leiris, just a few days after he completed the present work, ‘I am working furiously; you and all my other writer friends have given me much help and improved my understanding of many things. I think about our conversation, when you told me how you started with a word and watched to see where it would take you. I have done a series of small things on wood, in which I take off from some form in the wood. Using an artificial thing as a point of departure like this, I feel, is parallel to what writers can obtain by starting with an arbitrary sound’. He continued, ‘I am moving away from all pictorial conventions (that poison)...In spreading out my canvases, I have noticed that the ones that are simply drawn (or that use a minimum of colour); the intromission of exciting materials (colours), however stripped of pictorial meaning, shakes up your blood and the exalted sensation that claws at the soul is ruined’ (Miró to M. Leiris, 10 August 1924, in M. Rowell, ed., Joan Miro: Selected Writings and Interviews, London, 1987, p. 86).

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