Joan Miró, ‘Composition XII, from: Gaudí’, 1979, Gilden's Art Gallery

JOAN MIRÓ 1893-1983
Montroig 1893-1983 Mallorca (Spanish)

Title: Composition XII, from: Gaudí, 1979

Technique: Original Hand Signed and Numbered Etching with Aquatint on Arches Wove Paper

Paper size: 66 x 50 cm. / 26 x 19.6 in.
Image size: 36 x 25.2 cm. / 14.2 x 9.9 in.

Additional Information: This etching is hand signed in pencil by the artist "Miró" at the lower right margin.
It is also hand numbered in pencil from the edition of 50, at the lower left margin.
The work was part of Miro's important series "Gaudi" that included 21 different etchings.
It was printed in a limited edition of 50 hand signed and numbered impressions (there were also 15 hors commerce impressions).
It was printed by Joan Barbarà, Barcelona and published by Maeght, Barcelona in 1979.
The paper bears the Arches watermark in the lower right margin.

Note: After Miró has established his printing studio in his Son Boter studio in 1975, he was able to start his major project: a print series dedicated to the great Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, a figure he greatly admired.
Miró met Gaudi during his adolescence while he was attending drawing classes at the Cercle de Sant Lluc. Miró greatly admired this Catalan Modernist architect, considering Gaudí’s work among his sources of inspiration.
Miró decided to prepare this series carefully in advance before proceeding. In order to "be in shape", as he described it, he produced together with the engraver Joan Barbarà a variety of works such as Enrajolats, La commedia dell’arte, Rupestres, Personatges i estels and La gran rodona.
The Gaudí series comprises 21 prints in which Miró used all conceivable resources, ranging from traditional techniques to the most innovative methods, such as etching, sugar-lift aquatint, carborundum, embossing, and collage. Miró worked from a series of preliminary sketches and originals made with pencil, pastel, ink, gouache, and collage. The original designs for the Gaudí series were finished before Barbarà began his collaboration with Miró. All the matrices that were used for this series were copper plates, some plated with nickel. The creative process for this series took place at the Son Boter studio beginning in 1976; it was then printed in Barcelona in 1979, in an edition of 50. The result of this process is a gallery of images in which the sobriety of the black hues contrasts with the palette of blues, reds, yellows, and greens. All of these colours often configure a sort of multi-shaped, uneven grid whose changing geometry suggests the kaleidoscopic, irregular mosaic work used by Gaudí to envelop his architectural elements.
The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró holds all the original designs that were used as a starting point for this series, as well as a large number of plates and colour proofs.

Literature: Dupin, J. (2001). Miró Engraver, Vol. IV 1976-1983. Paris: Éditeur Daniel Lelong.
Reference: Dupin 1071

Condition: Excellent condition. Remnants of hinging tape at the upper corners, verso.

About Joan Miró

Joan Miró rejected the constraints of traditional painting, creating works “conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness,” as he once said. Widely considered one of the leading Surrealists, though never officially part of the group, Miró pioneered a wandering linear style of Automatism—a method of “random” drawing that attempted to express the inner workings of the human psyche. Miró used color and form in a symbolic rather than literal manner, his intricate compositions combining abstract elements with recurring motifs like birds, eyes, and the moon. “I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music,” he said. While he prized artistic freedom, Miró revered art history, basing a series of works on the Dutch Baroque interiors of Hendrick Sorgh and Jan Steen. In turn, Miró has inspired many artists—significantly Arshile Gorky, whose bold linear abstractions proved a foundational influence on Abstract Expressionism.

Spanish, 1893-1983, Barcelona, Spain, based in Paris and Catalonia, Spain