"For me, a picture should be like sparks. It must dazzle like the beauty of a woman or a poem. It must have radiance; it must be like those stones which Pyrenean shepherds use to light their pipes." Miró
Moon Bird at Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC
Visiting another exhibition on Miró, I am always enchanted to find his works more surprising, less simple than it might seem at the first sight, always more inspiring, but also more fleeting. Miró, with his farmer or factory-worker face, looks almost as surreal as Magritte on the old black-and-white pictures. Is he making fun of us, his audience, painting and talking about these images that find meaning as he paints them, that find their names when he is done throwing paint on the canvass, concentrated, hard-working, all day long? Or does he know more than us, does he have a different sight, does he talk with Plato's shadows of the ideal? It is always the woman and the bird that come back in his paintings - not ants like in Dali's nightmares, but constant inspirations for Miro's more poetic and mystic work. Even during the dark years of WWII he paints women - in black this time.
One of the discoveries for me during this exhibition in Brussels (where ING is copying Fundacion Caixa in Barcelona with a dedicated space for art in the city center) was a book Miro illustrated for Paul Eluard's poetry. The illustrations reminded me of Shagal's more spiritual work for the Bible, where here Miro remained Miro - light, easy, un-understandable, full of himself - and full of meaning for the ones willing to accept him as he comes. Sure, as he and Eluard come together.
Une prison découronnée En plein ciel Une fenêtre enflammée Où la foudre montre ses seins Une nuit toute verte Nul ne sourit dans cette solitude Ici le feu dort tout debout À travers moi.
Mais ce sinistre est inutile Je sais sourire Tête absurbe Dont la mort ne veut pas dessécher les désirs Tête absolument libre Qui gardera toujours et son regard et son sourire.
Si je vis aujourd’hui Si je ne suis pas seul Si quelqu’un vient à la fenêtre Et si je suis cette fenêtre Si quelqu’un vient Ces yeux nouveaux ne me voient pas Ne savent pas ce que je pense Refusent d’être mes complices
Et pour aimer séparent.
The last impression from the exhibition - this other quote from the artist: "Pour moi, conquérir ma liberté, c'est conquérir la simplicité. À la limite, une ligne, une couleur suffisent à faire le tableau". This made me think more of my thesis - I would wish so much for it to be simple, for me to finally see the light and make it simple, conquer liberty through simplicity...