Born and raised in Barcelona, Joan Miro is one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. His work was highly nationalistic and anti-bourgeois, endeavoring to capture both the spirit of his home and the struggle of the lower classes. He began painting seriously in his teenage years, when his work appeared largely influenced by the Impressionist movement. As he grew and continued to paint, however, he become more and more infatuated with magical realism and surrealism.
The Joan Miro Museum is the largest collection of his artwork, in the form of paintings, sculptures, woven textiles, and most of all, drawings. Though his is internationally famous and loved the world over, Barcelona was where he was born, and it played a role in many of his paintings, and was definitely an influence on his work in general. The culture of Barcelona is featured prominently in his work, from its colors to its vibrant atmosphere. It makes sense that the most comprehensive collection should reside in Barcelona.
The museum features a number of workshops and shows to teach visitors about Miro’s life and work, as well as how contemporary artists have felt his influence. These shows are fun and education, and are one of the unique reasons to visit this museum. Along with a number of other activities, you have the opportunity to be completely immersed in the artistic experience.
Besides the permanent Joan Miro exhibits, the museum features a number of other exhibits, including artwork from other Barcelona-based artists, especially those who represent forward thinking philosophies, just like Miro did. The museum keeps space open for emerging artists and curators to display their work. The museum also houses a number of works that were created by fellow artists in the years after Miro’s death, intended to pay tribute to either Miro as a man, or the magnitude and importance of his art. Though most of Miro’s paintings do remain at the museum full time, some do travel to other museums from time to time.
One of the very especially important collections the Museum houses comes in the form of documents about Joan Miro and his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. These are critical evaluations and reviews of specific pieces, as well as studies of his role as an artist in the last century, and studies of how the art world today is still influenced by his work. Once you have finished viewing the exhibitions, take some time to read what has been said about the man and his work.
Guided tours of the museum are available on the weekend to anyone who would like to learn more about Miro’s life and the context of his art. A visit to this museum will not only open your eyes to the prolific nature of this master’s work, but also give you a special insight into Barcelona and it’s spirit and history. Barcelona has played home to and will continue to breed some of Europe’s most important and influential artists, and the Joan Miro Museum is a tribute to both the history and future of Barcelona.