Miró and Matisse, a relationship never explored

The highlight of 2024 in the Miró Foundation will be the first exhibition showing the links between the two great 20th-century artists

The Miró Foundation will continue with its exhibitions focusing on contemporaries of the Catalan artist who also have their own dedicated museums. Paul Klee was the first in autumn 2022, in a joint project with the artist’s museum in Bern. The next be Henri Matisse this autumn in what will be one of the highlights of the season, not only because of the importance of the Matisse name but also because the relationship the French artist had with Miró has never before been explored in any exhibition.

The Miró Foundation began 2024 with the tail end of another unique joint project with the Barcelona Picasso Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary last year of the death of the artistic genius from Málaga. The Miró-Picasso exhibition comes to a close on February 25, when the Miró Foundation will recover its main exhibition spaces where it will re-install works from its collection, but with a change of focus to put more emphasis on Miró’s “process of production”, drawing on documentation from the artist’s archive, says the head of conservation, Teresa Montaner, who confirms that the new main exhibition will be unveiled around Easter.

The new series of temporary exhibitions will begin in May, with the inauguration of the first solo exhibition in Spain of Vietnamese-American artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen, winner of the 8th edition of the Joan Miró Prize. Born in Saigon in 1976 and raised in the US after the Vietnam War, Nguyen is a rising star in art today and at the foundation will present a series of sculptures inspired by American artist Alexander Calder’s mobiles, which he created with fragments of bombs from the conflict. Curated by Martina Millà, the exhibition can be visited until September 24.

A month later, on October 24, the gallery on Montjuïc will host (until February 9, 2025) Miró and Matisse: beyond images, a joint project with the French artist’s museum in Nice, which will show the exhibition first in June. While Matisse was much older than Miró and they are associated with different art movements, the former Fauvism and the latter Surrealism, “they had an admiration for each other”, says Véronique Dupas, coordinator of the exhibition, which will be curated by the foundation’s director Marko Daniel, acting director of the Musée Matisse Aymeric Jeudy, and art historian Rémi Labrusse. The documentation that links the two artists, much of it unpublished until now, is abundant and includes, for example, the reflections that Matisse shared with the poet Louis Aragon on the artists who most interested him: “Miró... yes, Miró... because, regardless of what he represents on a canvas..., if at a given point there is a red spot placed, you can be sure that it was there, and nowhere else, where it was meant to be... Remove it, and the painting falls.”

The season is completed with a series of exhibitions from emerging artist’s in the Espai 13 exhibition space, which will celebrate its 45th anniversary. Irina Mutt will curate We will keep each other company when it grows dark), which between February and January next year will feature work by Alba Mayol, Inari Sandell, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Helena Vinent.

Meanwhile, until March 24, the gallery has the exhibition that began in September: Joan Miró and the script of things. Based on a works from the gallery’s collection, it shows the evolution of the symbolic language that Miró began developing during the Spanish Civil War in response to the artist’s urge to escape from the tragic situation of the times.

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