Joaquim Mir in Barcelona

Joaquim Mir

March 10th, 2009

Joaquim Mir Oranges Orange grove (Mallorca)

Barcelona’s Caixaforum is hosting a new exhibition on Catalan landscape artist and modernist Joaquim Mir (1873-1940). He began his painting career with a group of artists (the so-called Colla del Safrà) who would head for the outskirts of Barcelona to paint in the open air. He then spent some time painting the wild cliffs on of northern Mallorca where he was said to have “gone crazy in a delirium of fusion with nature”. In later years he studied the Costa Brava and Montserrat. His work is full of light and colour, and depicts shadowy forests, black roofs and rugged terrain. He is considered one of the greatest Spanish landscape artists.

The Rock in the Pond

The MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) website describes Mir thus:

Joaquim Mir, one of the most advanced, intuitive and personal leading figures of the second generation of Modernista painters, can be considered the most gifted landscape painter of his generation and perhaps even the best representative of modern Catalan painting. After having trained in landscape Realism, in 1899 Mir moved to Majorca, where he began to explore his own personal vision of landscape. His works of this period reflect the exaltation of unrestrained Nature, unreal almost, brimming with bold ranges of colour. Following a fall (fortuitous or otherwise) from a cliff in Majorca, Mir was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in Reus. In 1906 he settled in the Camp de Tarragona region, where he remained until 1910, and painted a series of extraordinary landscapes that crown the phase of work he had commenced in Majorca. In short, colour is the key element in this painter’s artistic language, which virtually verges on abstraction. MNAC

Joaquín Mir i Trenxet: La encina y la vaca /The holm oak and the cow (1915)

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