Miró‘s Women, Birds August 2 1973 (1973)

This seemingly abstract drawing by Miró is a good example of how you should always keep a look-out for the artist's face. Every composition, after all, is generally speaking an image of the artist's mind.

This drawing is titled Women, Birds August 2 1973 so it would be natural for the observer to find women or birds in the composition. And, yes, the shape of two birds can be seen perching on an ink mark near the top left-hand corner. What most viewers will not have seen, though, is that the whole composition is based on......

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Captions for image(s) above:

Miró, Women, Birds August 2nd 1973 (1973)  Acrylic, pencil and wax crayon on unstretched tarpaulin. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

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......a jumbled close-up of Miró's own face so that all the smaller details of birds and women are taking place within it. There are three specific features that fix his face in the drawing: the two small eyes on an incline with lines circling around them (perhaps his glasses) and the tiny mouth. His nose is either absent or appears, perkily higher than in reality, as that thick black brushstroke emerging from between the eyes. Regardless, by focussing on the eyes and mouth, Miró's face appears.

See conclusion below

Captions for image(s) above:

Miró, Women, Birds August 2 1973 compared to a detail of Miro's Self-portrait, 1938 (First State)

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Just as Michelangelo formed the figures in The Last Judgment into a giant profile of Dante Alighieri with Christ in the center of his mind, so here Miró forms his own more modest composition within the structure of his own face.


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