The Mosaic Mural at Barcelona's El Prat Airport
Barcelona is a city of art and this becomes clear the moment you arrive at the airport. As you leave terminal 2, building B, you will see a huge 9x5 metre mosaic mural sprawled along the wall that was donated to the city by Joan Miró with the help of his friend who specialised in ceramics - Josep Llorenç Artigas. The colours and forms are unmistakably from the artist... and the perfect welcome to the city!
Things only get more dreamlike from here on, travelling through a world of shapes and hues from the Barcelonian artist. Miró is one of the most versatile and fascinating artists of the 20th century, with his abilities spanning painting, sculpting, and ceramics. A man who worked outside of the conventional norms of even surrealists, with the objective of art devoid of any rules and limitations.
The Miró Foundation
Most of the painter's works are collected at the Miró Foundation, a building that opened in 1975 in the midst of Montjuïc and was designed by his friend Josep Lluís Sert. The exhibition ranges from early Miró who was influenced by movements of Cubism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism, up until his "master era" of art that he produced under his own rules, including collages that make a complete break with tradition.
Entering the gallery is like stepping into a world of tones and contours, each one with its own significance, as if the Miró wasn't just making art to be aesthetically pleasing, but was instead weaving stories. One such story that Miró constructed so masterfully was about the Spanish Civil War, which left the artist feeling critical of the situation in his homeland.
One part of the gallery in particular worth noting is the collection of 23 works with the rather generic title of Constellations, something Miró believed united the cosmos with Earth. It is a dream-like fantasy world that Miró created between 1940 and 1941 in a small town of Normandy, and that you can no see today at the foundation.
Dona i Ocell
Through this sculpture, which means "Woman and Bird", the multifaceted and experimental nature of Miró shines through, even when he was in his 90s at the time. He sculpted and painted this work of art, with the help of Joan Gardy Artigas for the ceramics. Miró loved large scale works, and this was to be his last huge sculpture... And he never got to see its public unveiling because he fell ill.
The characters of the piece are very recurrent throughout his works. Look at much of the art from Miró and you will see him express himself through the lineament of women and birds, as well as the Earth and cosmos. He also chose to use primary colours, which are colours in their simplest forms.
The Mosaic at Pla de l'Os
Finally, if you're in Barcelona, there is certainly one production by Joan Miró that you probably come across simply by partaking in the usual tourist activity of walking down Las Ramblas. It's his most popular work; the Pla d'Os. It features his use of classic primary Red, Blue, and Yellow colours. In true Miró fashion, he designed it to be walked over and enjoyed by the public, regardless of the eventual and inevitable damage this would cause (the colours faded so much they were restored in 2006). It's circular outline, of course, represents the cosmos.
"In my opinion, mastering freedom means mastering simplicity. Then, at most, a line, a colour, are enough to make the picture." - Joan Miró