The Miro Foundation and the Picasso Museum will jointly organize a major exhibition on the relationship between the two artists
The Picasso Year will review the artist’s complex relationship with women
On the left, ‘Paseo Colon in Barcelona, autumn 1917’, by Picasso. On the right ‘Le balcon, Baix de Sant Pere’, a work by Miro also from 1917 Succession Pablo Picasso
It seems incredible, but never before have Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro seen each other in a high-level exhibition, an anomaly that will be corrected shortly with the great exhibition that will land in 2023 simultaneously at the Miro Foundation and the Picasso Museum in Barcelona . A one-on-one between two of the great geniuses of the 20th century that, framed within the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death and coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Miro’s, will explore creative influences, convergences and divergences, and the relationship that both artists remained with Barcelona.
“We have not invented anything. It was evident that it was an exhibition that had to be done”, has relativized the director of the Miro Foundation, Marko Daniel, during the presentation of the exhibition season of the center. A course still marked by the influence of Paul Klee and of which ‘Miro-Picasso’ will be the icing on the cake.
As Teresa Montaner, one of the four curators of the show, has explained, the exhibition proposes a chronothematic journey through the moments of “greatest connection” of both creators. The trip begins in 1917, a “decisive moment for both of us”, and focuses especially on the 1920s and 1930s. “From the Second World War they have an intense personal relationship, but artistically their trajectories distanced themselves,” Montaner recounted. United by the same passion and by an ensaimadawhich, legend has it, Miro took to Paris at the request of his mother, a friend of Picasso’s, the two artists starred in a small exhibition of a more documentary nature in 2017 at the modernist museum Can Prunera in Soller. Nothing to do, however, with the one planned by the two Barcelona institutions, much more extensive and ambitious.
‘Miro-Picasso’ will also provide “interesting information” from the Foundation’s archive , a space that opens the year with a comprehensive facelift and relocated in the octagonal tower of the Sert building, the original location where the graphic, lithographic and on Miro’s paper it was guarded until 1988. “Now it’s like a microchip factory in Taiwan, a clean and controlled environment,” Daniel joked.
The operation, which has involved the movement and transfer of more than 18,000 objects, is accompanied by the opening of a new exhibition space that will be fed with material from the archive itself. “They will be like footnotes to works in the rooms,” Daniel points out.
Another of the outstanding exhibitions of the season will be ‘Imaginary Friends’, an invitation to “lose your fear of contemporary art” through installations by Martin Creed, Paola Pivi, Pipilotti Rist, Kasper Bosmans and Afra Eisma, among others. The collector and patron Han Nefkens, for his part, will be the common thread of the third major exhibition of the year, a tour of the Dutchman’s Asian video art collection with stops at Sojung Jun, Thao Nguyen Phan, Hsu Che-Yu and Musquiqui Chihying .
The Barcelona institution, which was going through a delicate economic situation before the pandemic, is gradually recovering normality and anticipates a 2023 of relative calm. «We are not yet at the levels of 2019, but we have exceeded the forecasts we had for this year. Right now we are already 45% above the expected visitors and 25% above the revenue”, Daniel pointed out. The Joan Miro award also returns as normal, a biennial award that disappeared from the map in 2021 and will be awarded again in 2023 in collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).