Paysage (Landscape)

Estrella de Diego

<em>Paysage</em> / Landscape

Joan Miró
Paysage / Landscape, 3 March 1974
Oil on Canvas
Private collection in temporary storage
© Successió Miró 2019

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Like a frame from the nouvelle vague, Paysage absorbs your gaze in a powerful sensation of spacial continuity that leaves the canvas weakened, open to whatever is happening outside of it, subtly wounded. In fact, a burst of red that emerges from the right-hand side disturbs the simplistic constellation and breaks the line of the horizon, the line that separates the black mountain from the white sky. This work, like so many others by Miró, invokes a certain exquisite association with the opposites reconciled in Eastern culture; Miro’s strategy is to make visible that which cannot be seen. Time stands still for a moment in this monumental frame where the pastpresent and future are stopped in their tracks. Later, when the world is set in motion again, the burst of red that has been released will end up crossing the white sky completely.

Once again, by means of simple shapes, precisely calculated despite their outwardly improvised appearance, Miró determines space through the elements and not the elements through the space. One might posit that the artist has already experimented with this strategy in his first figurative paintings, the artwork he created towards the end of the 1910s. This is the same strategy that will later translate into the spirituality of pure forms, the remains of reality; the “menudencias” (trivial details) which – mentioned in a letter to his friend Ràfols in 1918 – remain unnoticed by everyone expect the primitive people and the Japanese. Miro’s eye masterfully reveals this delicate world of metalwork.

Estrella de Diego is a professor of Art History at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid).