Friday, April 11, 2014

Joan Miró: Paper and Poetry selected prints and illustrated books


Joan Miró: Paper and Poetry
selected prints and illustrated books

Exhibition closing this Saturday, April 12


Surrealism had an enormous impact on the art world following its beginnings
 in France ca. 1924, directly influencing artists as diverse as Motherwell 
and Picasso. Only a relatively small number of artists remained anchored in 
this movement after World War II.  Among the most prominent of these was
 Joan Miró whose view and practice of art were and remain revolutionary.
Surrealism was concerned with undermining our preconceived notions of both
 art and reality at large. This is evident in such iconic surrealist images as Dali's
 ubiquitous clock draped over a tree limb which called into question the reality
 of mathematically measured time, and Magritte's painting of a pipe (Los
 Angeles County Museum of Art) emblazoned with the phrase, " Ceci n'est 
 une pipe - This is not a pipe," which indeed it is not, but rather a picture of
 a pipe.
Miró's works frequently invoke the mythic, and his vocabulary has a 
pictographic quality not unlike images of the earth and sky painted by tribal
 societies all over the world since time immemorial.  Such pictographs, 
as frequently seen in petroglyphs, sometimes developed into sophisticated 
systems of writing, as in the case of the first Chinese characters which are 
pictograms. Examples of pictographic and calligraphic images are seen
 throughout the works in this show. 

There is also an innocence about the simplicity of Miro's palette that 
evokes the sense of childlike wonder adults can still feel gazing up at
 a clear night sky. By conjuring this magical, poetic state of awe 
and wonderment, Miro undermines the mundane state of mind by which 
we all too frequently limit our world view.

An important part of this exhibition is the display of illustrated 
books which are Miró's interpretations of works of poetry. These are not
 bound books but rather loose leaf portfolios of prints and sheets of
 letterpress text. (The prints in these books can be framed as one would 
frame any stand-alone print while retaining the rest of the book in its
 portfolio.) The complete catalogue of Miró 's works in this genre,
 meticulously compiled by the Swiss scholar and publisher Patrick Cramer
, a close associate of Leslie Sacks, records 262 books, albums and 
catalogues. These books with their beautiful hand printed images
 reflect not only the aforementioned associations with poetry, 
mythology, pictographs and calligraphy but also the rich European 
heritage of illuminated manuscripts. 

 11640 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (map)
(310) 820-9448


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