Arts and Entertainment

Explore Miró at SAM with BAC

'Head, Bird,' 1977, Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893-1983, lithographic ink and arcylic on Barker paper, 22 5/8 x 30 11/16 in., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. © Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2014.
— image credit: Image courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum

Join the staff of Bainbridge Arts & Crafts for a private tour of “Miró: The Experience of Seeing,” at the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, March 27.

The trip

The group will take the 10:25 a.m. ferry, have lunch at Taste, and take a private, docent-led tour at 1 p.m. Can’t do lunch? Meet up at 1 p.m. for the tour.

The cost is $25 for the tour (ferry fare, lunch and admission to SAM are not included). Register at BAC, 151 Winslow Way E., or call 206-842-3132.

For more information, visit

The show

Seattle Art Museum presents "Miró: The Experience of Seeing," the first in-depth exhibition of Miró’s late work in the United States, with special attention paid to the artist’s captivating sculptures.

The exhibition draws from the rich collection of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the leading museum of modern and contemporary art in Spain.

One of the great innovators of 20th century art in Europe, Miró was briefly aligned with the Surrealists in the late 1920s in Paris and went on to create a striking pictorial and sculptural universe throughout his six-decade career.

This unique exhibition brings together some 50 paintings and sculptures made in the period between 1963 and 1981 that testify to the artist’s playful ingenuity and inventiveness, adding entirely new chapters to his artistic legacy. Although Miró had experimented with assemblage in earlier periods, it is only in this later period that he builds sculptures from found objects that are then cast in bronze.

On view at SAM through May 26, visitors will experience a rare glimpse of the artist’s later work.

“Our collaboration with the Museo Reina Sofía, one of Europe’s greatest museums of modern art, allows us to share the work of one of the world’s most important artists with Northwest audiences for the very first time,” said Kimerly Rorschach, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director of SAM.

Born in Barcelona in 1893, Miró was from Catalonia, the region in the northeast corner of Spain, which borders on France. In his political views as well as his artistic endeavors, Miró was drawn to his contemporary and fellow Spaniard Pablo Picasso. From 1920 when he makes his first visit to Paris Miró spent time in the capital where he connected with the literary and artistic avant-garde and was drawn into the orbit of the Surrealists.

During this time, Miró began to develop an abstract and expressive visual vocabulary that set the stage for his subsequent artistic career. “For me, the essential things are the artistic and poetic occurrences, the associations of forms and ideas.”

Miró considered painting a dynamic spark: “It must dazzle like the beauty of a woman or a poem and fertilize the imagination.” After years of political turmoil, Miró’s move to a new studio on the island of Mallorca, Spain, allowed him to bring together and reassess many paintings previously in storage. It triggered a fruitful new phase in the artist’s career.

He began to explore new painterly territory, often working in distinctly different styles, and he began to make sculpture. Already in 1941, in the midst of war, the artist developed ideas for working in sculpture: “It is in sculpture that I will create a truly phantasmagoric world of living monsters.” He drew inspiration from found objects, building structures from salvaged wood, discarded hardware or household implements and then casting them in bronze. The dialogue between painting and sculpture is crucial at this time with resonances across media and across decades. It is this push and pull between sculptural and painterly form and articulations of space that this exhibition will explore.

"Miró: The Experience of Seeing" is organized by the Seattle Art Museum and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The Seattle presentation of this exhibition is made possible with critical funding provided by SAM’s Fund for Special Exhibitions. Corporate Sponsor is Christie’s.

Additional support provided by Washington State Arts Commission National Endowment for the Arts and the Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Endowment. Official Hotel Sponsor is Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. Contemporary and modern art programs at SAM are supported by a generous group of donors in honor of Bagley Wright.

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