cover image Miro & Mallorca

Miro & Mallorca

Rizzoli, Serra, Pere A. Serra. Rizzoli International Publications, $50 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0661-4

In painting joyful, biomorphic fantasies abuzz with gnomes, stars, moons, sex symbols and snails, Spanish artist Joan Miro drew inspiration from the island of Mallorca (or Majorca) with its open spaces and luminous skies, its folk art and ancient history. Born of a Mallorcan motherand he later married a MallorcanMiro left Barcelona every summer as a child to vacation on Mallorca. His annual visit was like a liberation, allowing the shy, introverted boy to bask in a world of the imagination. The crudely painted clay whistles that he played with, shaped like a man or animal, would in time give birth to the marble sculpture Moon Bird. In 1940, fleeing the Nazi invasion of Paris, Miro found a safe haven in Mallorca. There he invented a circus of signs in harmonious canvases whose radiance gives no hint of the suffering and fear he and his family endured. In the '50s he built the white studio at Palma that he had always dreamed of having. Tapestries, murals, assemblages, oils and lithographs burst forth in profusion. Miro always insisted he was not a surrealist, and this delightful, gorgeously illustrated monograph makes a strong case for the Mallorcan and Spanish roots of his work. (May 16)