Born April 20th, 1893, Joan Miro Ferra was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramist. Originally from Barcelona, Joan Miro moved to Paris at an early age, where he began to develop an unconventional style of work.


He soon became known in the community as a Surrealist because of his love for automatism and the use of sexual symbols in much of his work. Joan Miro was very much against the established painting methods of the time, and is often credited with being the founder of automatic drawing. Automatic drawing is the process of allowing the hand to move randomly on the canvas, leaving the artwork to chance. Many Surrealists believed that this form of drawing would reveal something about the subconscious human mind. For Joan Miro, automatic drawing was also a way to breaking free from conventional form. Miro was very much against bourgeois art, claiming that it was used for propaganda and the promotion of a wealthy culture. Miro referred to his work as the assassination of painting.


During the height of his career, Joan Miro experimented with many different types of art form, refusing to commit to one artistic movement. Later in his career he began experimenting with tapestry. In 1974 he created World Trade Center Tapestry for the newly constructed Twin Towers. This work would later become the most expensive piece of art lost in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11th.


Joan Miro also began to delve into other aspects of media, including ceramics and window paintings. Some of his more radical ideas included four-dimensional art, and gas sculptures, though he was never able to put these ideas into practice.


Perhaps his most important work of art in the United States is a glass mural titled Personnage Oiseaux, which was made for the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in Kansas. Joan Miro began this large two-dimensional project at the age of 79, and it was not completely until he was 85 years old. The mural is made up of one million pieces of marble and Venetian glass, mounted on a special type of wood, and was attached to the concrete wall of the museum. It was the first glass mosaic ever attempted by Miro, and though he wanted to make more, his deteriorating health prevented any future attempts of another project.
At the time of his death, Joan Miro was bedridden from heart disease and respiratory complications. He died at his home in Palma, Mallorca on December 25th, 1983. He is buried in his hometown of Barcelona, near a museum that is dedicated entirely to his work. Today, his works are displayed in museums and galleries all over the world, and sell for anywhere between $250,000 and $17 million.


Joan Miro (1893 – 1983)