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Miro Painting: On the Dot

April 12th, 2019 · 1 Comment · Barcelona, Spain, tourism, Travel

Yes, I am one of those guys who looks at some abstract art and says, “a chimp could do that.”

Talking about paint thrown at a canvas … a couple of random shapes swimming in space … a bucket, a hammer and a broom entitled “Young Man”, or something of the sort.

I readily concede my ignorance may be the primary factor in the “any chimp” assessment. “If only you could understand the brilliant statement being made!” Alas, I am too simple.

But when a major work of art is, in total, a large white canvas and a small blue dot … shouldn’t a professional be able to do a bit more than that?

And there it is, above.

Brilliant!

I guess.

I’ve been told.

It must be brilliant. It is a Miro, painted by Joan Miro, who sweated over this in 1968.

Miro is famous, especially here in his hometown of Barcelona, so “Landscape” must be good.

But …

But, I would prefer my art to be a bit more, oh, complicated. Or to at least look like it required some effort beyond dabbing a blue spot and announcing you are done.

Apparently, and I don’t know if Miro ever said this or his fans came up with the explanation, but the painting above — entitled “Landscape”, acrylic on canvas — has something to do with noise.

Well, sure. Whatever.

I like some of Miro’s early stuff, which also can be found in the sprawling museum. Those paintings required a lot, lot more than a single dot.

But then he got older and weirder, which happens to a lot of us but particularly artists … and Miro outlined his “oft-quoted interest” in the “assassination of painting”, stemming from his dislike of bourgeois art “which he believed was used as a way to promote propaganda and cultural identity among the wealthy” — as noted on his wiki page.

Anyway. If Miro had been able to make a batch of paintings with a single dot in them … he might have gone a long way personally assassinating painting.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Buzz Spector // Jun 7, 2020 at 1:49 PM

    I was looking online for an image of this painting, for a public talk I’ll be giving on the uses of irony by avant-garde artists. I appreciate your relatively high resolution image of “Painting with Blue Dot,” and your very entertaining commentary. I saw “Landscape,” 1968, at the Fundacio Miro in 2016, but in the context of that gallery, I think the curators chose to show it (as well as a couple more works with minimal motifs) as Miro poking fun at Minimalist art. There are more than 200 other Miro paintings on view at the Fundacio, and what you see there includes only some paintings the artist requested be always on view. I doubt that “Landscape” is one of those.

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