The Miro exhibit, currently on view at the McNay Art Museum until January 10, 2016, is full of surprises. We went yesterday with our friends, artist Pablo Solomon and his wife, Beverly (their cat is named Miro, so you know they are huge fans of the Spanish painter).
The first surprise was the astonishing scale of the paintings. These things are huge! Pablo and I both said that we expected “normal sized” painting from the photos we had seen in catalogs, but these works were six, eight, ten feet tall, some in gigantic frames with glass as big as skyscraper windows. Miro’s colorful shape-figures of birds and women dance around within these huge canvases like playful giants. It’s so much fun!
The second surprise, at least for me, were the delightful sculptures, each with a rich industrial-like patina on bronze, and all constructed from sand-cast assortments of goofy objects that worked to form creatures with vast appeal. I felt like applauding!
The final surprise was realizing that all of the 50+ works in the show were created in Miro’s later years, the last 20 years of his life. It seems to be a journey back to the celebration and simplicity of a personal artistic language. The catalog says, “In his quest to transcend the idea of easel painting, the pictorial space is enlarged across expanded canvas fields, on which calligraphic signs reach maximum intensity through minimum resources, reflecting the artist’s attempt to reach a square one of painting. . .” I dare you not to get a little teary when you walk into the room with the last three paintings, huge white canvases with a very few spots of color, a star, a dotted line – all seeming to be exiting the playing field. Beautiful.
So do what I tell ya – go have a nice lunch at Twin Sisters with some good friends, and then get yourself over to the McNay just down the block. Pay the special exhibit ticket price – it’s worth every dollar – and prepare to be astonished.
PS The whole city is celebrating Miro – here’s a list of special Miro-inspired treats, from jewelry to decadent chocolate cake that will be on hand during the run of the exhibit.