Friday, January 17, 2014



Elizabeth Gordon  at Miro Museum in Barcelona      

         photo by Ann Suggs
 Miro is one of many artists that didn't capture my attention in college like some of the rock star artists of the era. I wasn't much enamored with Dali or Picasso or the Surrealist.  Perhaps it was because art history was so boring and taught so poorly.  I am not sure, but memorizing 200 or more slides a week, with a test at the end of the week with 25 or more unknown to place in a style and time period, wasn't my cup of tea.  Yes, I can recognize many art works and artists, but what can I tell you about their lives and what influenced them to paint in their day.  Art history should be taught in a much more interesting and connected way.  I have hear there are programs like that, just not where I attended.  There was once a program on Public Broadcasting called Connections, and it did just that, it connect political, social, environmental and commercial influences on art.  It was fascinating and the way I had wished I had been taught in art history.  
Later as an art teacher I would do more and more research on artist when I was teaching different units for my students.  A double learning took place, one for them, and another for me.  I love learning and I love research, so it was a win-win situation.  
The more I learned about Miro, Picasso, and other artists I had not studied in depth about in school, the more I wanted to know more.

Ann Suggs and Elizabeth Gordon         Barcelona   Gaudi's House

On a trip to Barcelona, I visited Gaudi's architecture that changed the way I viewed the way I thought building must be designed like.  I did not know they could look as if they were melting, and did not have to have hard angles. 

 On the same
trip, I discovered there was Miro's Museum  sitting there on a high hill overlooking the harbor and city. It such a magnificent view and reminded me so much of my home, Tampa.  It is a city on a bay as well.  I thought it would take an hour or two max to see the museum but
, I stayed there all day and left at closing.  I was blown not away by, not only, Miro's art, but also his thinking about art and creativity.
Below is a video from you tube about Juan Miro you may enjoy.

Today a friend sent me this link to a slide show walk through of Miro's museum and work.  I thought I would include that here for you.  Take a walk with Miro, look at his work, listen to his discussion of his artist process.  Look at the time he, Picasso, and Dali lived in, all working in Southern Eastern France and North East Spainish during relatively the same time period  in an area called Catalonia.  Click on this link now for your tour.  

Miro, Picasso, and Dali lived in the same area and painted at similar times.  Miro and Picasso lived through the Spanish Civil War, WWI and WWII.  At different times they fled Catalonia for Paris and then when the Nazi's occupied Paris, back to Spain.  

Guernica by Pablo Picasso                    from google image for educational purposes only

Picasso's Guernica was painted in response to the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil war. 

One of the series of Constellations by Juan Miro  
   from google educational purposes only

 The painting became an iconic statement for peace.  Miro hid in his imagery of his Constellations and Ladders references to war the times.  That is why it is so important to look at all the influences of a given era that art is produced in and what effects the artist.  In some eras it could be the invention of a new art media like acrylic paints, or the extinction of a mollusk that once thrived in Europe, or the inability of flax to grow in England.  

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