The Paul Klee Center in Bern, one of the main museums in Switzerland, presents, from January 28 to May 7, 2023, the exhibition entitled Joan Miró, curated by Fabienne Eggelhöfer and organized in collaboration with the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona and the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Palma.
The exhibition in Bern will focus on Miró's last production from his workshops in Mallorca (Sert and Son Boter Workshop), a stage marked by experimentation with new techniques and materials, a concern he shares with Paul Klee himself. The two artists have many traits in common, although they never met.
The exhibition presents a set of large-format works from the late 1950s, a scale that suits the characteristics of the Zentrum Paul Klee exhibition space very well. To reinforce the vision of this moment of reflection and self-criticism of the artist, some paintings from the first period will be included that anticipate the subsequent revision and reduction of his language.
"In the new studio I had space for the first time. I could unpack boxes of works I had done years ago. I had not paid attention to them since I left Paris [...] before the war [...]. After removing everything, my self-criticism began in Mallorca", said Miró.
This moment of self-criticism is treated in the exhibition at the Zentrum Paul Klee. The selection of works deliberately focuses on paintings that anticipate the sharp reduction of late work to a few strokes. Miró reworked some of his early works. Reflecting on his previous work also meant revisiting unfinished paintings, which became the interface between his past and a future that began in Mallorca. Upon moving to Mallorca and settling in the new Sert studio, he was forced to reorganize the paintings, drawings, sketches and sketchbooks he had accumulated over decades, and thus come to terms with his past work for forty years.
Miró sought liberation from his own artistic past and present. He was captured by an “iconoclastic fury” that sparked a new beginning away from the more commercial compositions and artistic creations. These are paintings for which Miró is still known to a wide audience today: medium-format paintings, predominantly in primary colors, precisely painted stick figures in a surrealist space. In that moment of rupture and self-criticism, Miró searches for and experiments with new forms of expression.
The Joan Miró show will include plaster models of sculptures from the Successió Miró fund and some 57 works on loan from the Fundació Joan Miró de Barcelona, 17 works from the collection of the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Mallorca that will allow visitors to discover a Surprising and lesser known mirror.