Peinture (Hirondelle) (Painting [Swallow])

Joan Miró

Barcelona, Spain, 1893 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1983

In 1937 Joan Miró painted El segador (The Reaper), to be shown at the Spanish Pavilion of the International Exposition in Paris, where the iconic oil work was to share exhibition space with Picasso’s Guernica. This is also the time that he did Naturaleza muerta del zapato Viejo (Still Life with Old Shoe), as dramatic and disturbing in its own way as El segador. But paradoxically, during the same year Miró also completed a group of oils on Celotex, where he put tragedy to one side in order to focus more on poetry and lyricism. Peinture (Hirondelle) (Painting [Swallow]) forms part of that group, in which the artist leaves the compressed straw-like texture of the support visible, partnering the delicate lines and soft patches of colour that make up the composition. Inspired by graffiti in the streets of Paris, and focusing solely on the joy of painting, Miró manages, with these works, to keep the spectre of violence at a distance and to create a cosmic atmosphere that seems to anticipate the spirit of 1941’s Constelaciones (Constellations).

Paloma Esteban Leal