J oan Miró’s work has been influencing generations of artists, designers and architects. What draws me most towards his work is his child-like approach to image making. His works are like a playground for colours and lines – looking at them play one can lose track of time. I recently came across Miró’s Posters by José Corredor-Matheos, which is a collection of posters designed by Joan Miró produced over the period of 60 years, except just one.
You’d think if an artist is good enough to make paintings, posters should come to him even easier. But it’s not really the case. They are two very different mediums with different purposes, therefore, an approach that works for making one may not work for the other. For instance, Miró’s posters are taken from his original lithographs. It’s only refreshing to see the familiar artist communicating through a different medium.
Essentially, posters are designed to deliver information, to as many people as possible. What I like most about them is that they are democratic, they are easily accessible, they are for everyone. They go through myriads of reproductions, from one medium to another. Reproductions in this book may not possess the physical traces of time – the wear and tear, the feel and the dust of the Rives paper; the images you’re seeing now on your screen are even further removed from the paper copies, let alone from the original prints. But, somehow, the artist’s voice and his messages are still loud and clear across time and media.
More than anything else, it is the visual impact that matters. Later the desire is felt to know what it says, what it represents. But only later.
Miró’s style is recognisable but not predictable. In fact, he always wanted to surprise and impact the viewer through all of his works. And this goal has overlapped with the essential purpose of poster-making – to attract the eyes of the passers-by.
His calligraphic forms in bold black ink mark out with not just vigour but aggressiveness too. You can also recognise his prime colours. What’s most interesting is his shapes which resemble eyes, human figures – forms that are recognisable and attractive to us on an instinctual level. But once you fix your eyes on to them, figures elude definition, they morph and thwart, inviting your vision to dance their playful dance.
“Avait L’instant”. 1919
Poster planned for the fortnightly magazine “L’Instant” (Barcelona-Paris)
Oil-painting on cardboard
Size: 107 x 76 cm
“À Toute Épreuve” exhibition, 1958
Poster produced for the presentation at Berggruen & Cie., Paris of the book À Toute Épreuve with 77 wood engravings by Joan Miro, published by Gérald Cramer, Geneva (25 April to 17 May 1958).
The poster was used for the presentation of the book in the Galerie Gérald Cramer, Geneva, from 18 December 1958 to 30 January 1959.
Size: 52 x 38 cm
“Album 19”. 1963
Poster produced for the presentation at the Sala Gaspar, Barcelona, of the book Album 19, with a text by Raymond Queneau and 26 lithographs by Joan Miro, published by Maeght in Paris (26 October to 15 November 1963).
Printing process: colour lithographic press.
Size: 75.5 x 53 cm
“Aidez L’Espagne”, 1937
Poster produced by Joan Miro in support of the Spanish Republican Government during the Civil War.
This poster was later used for the exhibition “Venice Biennale. Spain: Avant-garde art and social reality, 1936-1976”, held at the Fundaciό Joan Miro in Barcelona (December 1976 – February 1977)
“Cartons” exhibition, 1965
Poster produced for the exhibition of 32 cartoons by Joan Miro at the Galerie Maeght, Paris (4 May of June 1965).
Size: 65.5×49 cm
“Pasadena Art Museum Exhibition”, 1969
Poster produced for the retrospective exhibition of Joan Miro’s graphic work, held at the Pasadena Art Museum, California, U.S.A.
Size: 80.5 X 56.5 cm
Printing process: colour lithographic press
Presentation of three books on Miro in Japan, 1970
Poster produced for the presentation in Osaka, Japan, of the book on Miro’s work ‘Joan Miro y Catalunya’, along with ‘Les essències de la Terra’ and ‘Mà de Proverbis’, illustrated by Miro and all published by Ed. Polígrafa, S.A., Barcelona.
This poster was later used for the exhibition of lithographs at the Galerie Hachette, London (22 January to 20 February 1971)
“Agora 1” Exhibition, 1971
Poster produced for the presentation of Galerie Maeght artists in Paris, at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Strasbourg (13 July to 30 September 1971).
Size: 120 x 78 cm; 60 x 40 cm
“Le Lézard aux Plumes d’Or”, 1971
Poster produced for the presentation at the Galerie Berggruen, Paris (23 November to 31 December 1971), and at the Galerie Pierre, Stockholm (4 December – 31 December 1971), of the poem ‘Le Lézard aux Plumes d’Or’ or by Joan Miro, illustrated by the painter himself and published by Louis Broder in Paris.
Size: 70 x 49.5 cm
“Homenatge a Josep-Lluís Sert I Josep Llorens Artigas” Exhibition, 1972
Poster produced by Miro with a collage of photographs by the photographer Català-Roca, for the exhibition in homage to the architect Josep-Lluis Sert and the ceramist Josep Llorens Artigas, at the Colegio de Arquitectos de Cataluňa y Baleares, Barcelona (November-December 1972).
Size: 69.5 x 47 cm
“Joan Miro: Constellations” Exhibition, 1959.
Poster produced for the presentation at Berggruen & Cie., Paris of the book Constellations published in New York by Pierre Matisse, with text by André Breton and facsimile reproduction of the series of watercolours Constellations by Miro.
Size: 68 x 49 cm
Opening of the Galeria Maeght-Barcelona Exhibition, 1974
Poster produced by Miro for the group show held to mark the opening of the Galeria Maeght, Barcelona (November-December 1974).
Size: 65.5 x 40 cm
“Futbol Club Barcelona”, 1974
Poster produced by Miro for the 75th anniversary of Barcelona Football Club.
Size: 99×68.5 cm
“Mori El Merma”, 1978
Poster produced for the presentation of the play Mori el Merma by the Claca Theatre Company, with décor, masks and costumes by Miro, at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona (7-12 June 1978)
It is a collection of every poster designed by the artist produced over the period of 60 years, starting from the first one he designed for the magazine L’Instant in 1919. All 119 posters in exception of only one, which was hand painted on the glass walls of the Colegio del Arquitectos in Barcelona in 1969 for his own exhibition “Miró-the other”. After the event, all the records have vanished, except a few photos.