I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.

Joan Miró

Art Appreciation

Works from the Collection of Mimi Poser

Mimi Poser (right) with Mary Sharp Cronson, founder of Works & Process, at the opening of the 1984 exhibition Michael Singer. Photo: Marilyn Mazur via The Guggenheim

In the 1970s, The Guggenheim began broadcasting a regularly scheduled radio show, Round and About the Guggenheim, on New York’s Public Radio, WNYC. A precursor to our modern day podcasts, the show was the creation of the museum’s head development officer, Mimi Poser, whose career at The Guggenheim would span nearly two decades. With Poser as moderator, the series covered a wide range of topics from artists and artworks, to special events, to museum practices with many episodes centering on the museum’s current exhibitions. Each episode provided an interview with artists and experts from across the industry, informing audiences of the inner workings of institutions as well as current trends and issues within the art world. It was Poser’s narration, guidance, and knowledge during these interviews that encouraged in listeners a greater appreciation for both the influential artists of the age as well as the art industry as a whole. 

Listen to episodes from Round and About the Guggenheim with Mimi Poser

Joan Miró 1893–1983

Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1893. Although his parents wanted their son to be a businessman, Miró was drawn to art, and so he studied painting at Francesc Galí’s Escola d’Art in Barcelona from 1912 to 1915. In 1920, Miró moved to Paris where he was quickly caught up in the fiercely cultural atmosphere. He struck up a friendship with fellow expat Pablo Picasso, who took Miró under his wing and introduced him to many of the artists and writers living in the city. Miró soon became friends with Ernest Hemmingway, who bought his masterpiece The Farm in 1921. Famed surrealist poet Andre Breton and Miró met in 1924 and Breton felt that Miró’s artwork “was the most surrealist of all.”

Despite his association with the Surrealist movement, Miró’s painting process was far from unconscious; rather, his work resulted from a precise methodology. Combining the formal elements of cubism with biomorphic forms, Miró created works that referenced his home country of Spain through abstraction. After the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, his work began to display sharply political messages. His mural, The Reaper, condemned Franco's regime and was shown at the Spanish Pavilion in the World’s Fair of 1937 in Paris. In 1939 when the Nazis arrived in Paris, Miró was forced to flee to the South of France. The first retrospective of Miró’s work in the United States was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941. In 1958, Miró was commissioned to make two significant murals for UNESCO in Paris, for which he received the Guggenheim International Award. Inspired by the Paris student riots of 1968, Miró began to create bombastic paintings in which he would fling paint onto the canvas. During the 1970s, he became intrigued with the process of bookmaking, and he created over 250 illustrated artist’s books. Miró died in 1983, but he left behind a influential legacy and is one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century.

Auction Results Joan Miró