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Joan Miró, (1893-1983, Spanish)

Resin over steel armature, painted with polyurethane (88" x 135 3/4" x 63"), 1972
Gift of Betty and David Jones, Dorothy and Wendell Cherry
Miró was already headed towards a fantasy art when he was introduced to surrealism in 1922. Surrealism's emphasis on irrationality and the importance of dreams prompted him to use childhood memories as inspiration. With whimsical freedom, he created an hallucinatory world of creatures whose bulbous shapes seem to have been a cartoon-like potential for constant change. It was Miró's particular genius to give free rein to the products of his imagination rather than strictly guiding them. "I work like a gardener," Miró explained.

Despite its bottom-heavy stability, the two-sided Personnage possesses an odd disequilibrium. Its ballooning and receding convexities and concavities sprout multiple visual puns on male and female forms. Underlying Miró's humor was a sense of wonderment and reverence for every kind of life, real or imagined.

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