The Printmaking of a Prolific Artist: Joan Miro and His Lithographs

Amy Lin of Saffronart explores the whimsical world of Joan Miro’s Lithographs

New York: Refused to be pigeonholed into one movement, Joan Miro (1893-1983) is remembered as one of the most influential Spanish artists of the 20th century. With an artistic career spanning almost a century, Miro saw the rise of Surrealism and Fauvism, and influenced generations of Dadaist and Abstract Expressionists. Miro’s own works evolved over the decades, becoming more abstract and imaginative through time.

Joan Miro by James Johnson Sweeney
1974
Lithograph on Guarro wove paper
13.5 x 20 in. (34.3 x 50.8 cm)

Miro experimented with lithographs at the most mature stage of his career. By the 1940s, Miro had fostered a distinctive style with dark outlines, organic shapes and bold colours that evoked a sense of sophistication and innocence. This style also used automatism (a Surrealist concept of drawing images from the subconscious) in rendering subjects. Miro would often lie awake in bed at night, sometimes not having eaten all day, and let images come to him in this dark and dreamlike state. In the morning, he would quickly jot them down.

Enchantments with variations in Miro’s garden
1975
Lithograph in colors on Guarro wove paper
19.5 x 14 in. (49.5 x 35.6 cm)

In its collection Dali to Damien Hirst, Saffronart features three signed, limited edition prints by Miro that beautifully illustrate his style and imagination. Joan Miro by James Johnson Sweeney is an example of Miro’s combination of childlike drawings with dramatic black outlines that dominate and dwarf the colours. Many of Miro’s influences came from his beloved Catalonia, where geometric forms meet nature, flora and fauna. The Enchantment of Variation’s in Miro’s Garden is the artist’s homage to his love for nature and its mysteries.

Miro’s attraction to printmaking partly came from his enthusiasm to collaborate with other artists. He rejected the solitary nature of painting and embraced opportunities to work with other artists and artisans to enhance his creative repertoire. Besides artists, Miro collaborated with poets and curators to transform his prints into posters and book collections. Exhibition Miro at the Galerie Maeght 1978 to 1979 is a lithograph created to promote a show of his work at Galerie Maeght in Paris. The print was also made into a much larger poster (160 x 120 cm) and featured on the cover of Miro’s Catalogue Raisonne of Graphic Works Volume VI.

Miro himself saw endless possibilities in his lithographs. He stated, “A painting is a unique example for a single collector. But if I pull seventy-five examples, I increase by seventy-five times the number of people who can own a work of mine. I increase the reach of my message seventy-five times.” Like many great artists, Miro wanted to share his beautifully mysterious universe with as many others as he could.

Exhibition Miro at the Galerie Maeght
1978/1979
Lithograph in colors on Arches vellum paper
30.5 x 22 in. (77.5 x 55.9 cm)

The Story is Live!

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on the launch of a new website for curated collections of beautiful and hard to find objects

New Delhi: The Storya new website by Saffronart, where you can browse, learn about and acquire desirable objects ranging from fine art, home accessories to jewels and timepieces has just launched. What is interesting is that the collections are not necessarily what you usually find in a Saffronart auction. Understanding the desire for people to acquire items that appease their aesthetic sensibilities, The Story by Saffronart has put together a mix of age-old tradition and innovation in its collections.

S.H. Raza, Maa…
Serigraphy on paper
Image credit: www.saffronstory.com

The artwork collections comprise limited edition serigraphs and prints from masters of the modern art world, both Indian and international, as well as revivals of traditional forms such as Bundi miniature paintings, and as Mithila paintings from Bihar.

CALECUT NUOVA TAVOLA, GIACOMO GASTALDI, 1561
Copperplate engraving, Gastaldi’s new map of India
Image credit: www.saffronstory.com

Other collections range from beautifully crafted Chinese wedding baskets, to an exceptional set of antiquarian maps dating to the 16th century that chart India through the eyes of European explorers and cartographers. Objects available in ‘The Story’ are listed on the website for a limited period of time.

While every collection on The Story is unique, together they represent the meeting of tradition and innovation, age-old craftsmanship and contemporary design. Each collection has been put together around a narrative; an account of a culture, place, custom, genre or technique. Some of these stories have also been woven around the aesthetic sensibilities, experiences and memories of highly regarded individuals- The Story’s discerning tastemakers – who have agreed to share their knowledge, collecting experience and good taste with you through the collections they curate.

Collections from The Story are now available and can be viewed and purchased on the website saffronstory.com.

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