This exhibition, in IMMA’s courtyard, presents a selection of sculptural works by the renowned Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró and the distinguished American sculptor Alexander Calder. The decision to show their work side by side is based on the artists’ close working relationship, which began in the 1920s and continued right up to the time of Calder’s death in 1976. Each artist’s work fed off the other’s practice in a highly creative way. There is also an Irish connection, as both artists also enjoyed a close friendship with the distinguished Irish-American museum director James Johnson Sweeney.
Born in Barcelona, Joan Miró (1893-1983) is widely recognised for his immense contribution to Surrealist and Modern art. His enormously varied body of work, drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy and created over 75 years, is among the most original of the 20th-century. Miró paintings are instantly recognisable from their distinctive use of bright colours – especially blue, red, yellow, green and black – and their unaffected mixture of childlike innocence and artistic sophistication. Sculpture was a major focus of his work in the 1960s and ‘70s, both painted sculptures and bronzes. He also worked in a wide variety of other media, including etchings, watercolours and collage.
Born in Pennsylvania, Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) was one of the most innovative and influential sculptors of the 20th-century. Calder developed a new method of sculpting by bending and twisting wire - he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. He is renowned for his striking mobiles, whose suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Calder also made large outdoor sculptures from bolted sheet steel for public buildings and spaces. He is also noted for his book illustrations and stage sets. In 1977 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honour, by President Gerald Ford.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with texts by Emilio Fernandez Miró, grandson of Joan Miró and administrator of the Miró Estate, and Dr Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Senior Curator of the Phillips Collection in Washington and an expert on early 20th-century art. It included views of the works installed at IMMA. To buy the catalogue click here