Posters designed by Joan Miro

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.

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.

2 Comments

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