Miró’s encounter with the Paris avant-garde would bring more modern influences to bear on his work, as seen in The Farm (1921), a semi-realistic, semi-Cubist rendering of his childhood home. Miró’s love of the early Catalan painters is recognizable in his painstaking attention to each leaf on the tree and furrow in the soil, while his relationship with Cubism can be seen in the way he flattens the otherwise linear space of the composition with geometric forms and stretches of unmodulated pigment. (The author Ernest Hemingway bought the painting, seeing in Miró’s work the perfect encapsulation of his memories from a trip he’d once taken to Spain.)
By the mid-1920s, Miró was spending most of his time in Paris, having officially joined the Surrealists in 1924. Experimenting at his studio alongside the visual artists
, he found himself equally inspired by his association with the prominent literary minds of the movement, leading to a series of works from 1924 to 1927 that he dubbed peinture-poésie
, or “painting-poetry.” This is the Color of My Dreams
(1925), for example, consists only of those titular words and a small patch of blue pigment.
If this poetic mode provided one avenue for what Miró declared his “assassination of painting,” a trip to the Netherlands in 1928 brought him to challenge the illusionistic space of Dutch Old Master painting. In the somewhat cluttered and highly abstracted Dutch Interior I (1928), Miró reinvented Hendrick Martensz Sorgh’s painting of a lute player performing for a woman and dog as a room full of biomorphic forms in a flattened space. Loosely adapted from a postcard he bought at the Rijksmuseum rather than the original, Miró’s work rejected Sorgh’s naturalism and depth with a clever surrealist nod to Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q. (1919), a work that itself was famously based on a postcard of the Mona Lisa.