The surreal world of famous friends Picasso and Miro

Joan Miró’s poetry and Picasso’s passion are eternal languages which have no time or space limits

The exhibition Poetry and Passion explores the personalities, experiences, suggestions and mysteries of two of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, fellow Spaniards Pablo Picasso and Joan Mirò. 

The exhibition at the Burj Khalifa, curated by Sergio Gaddi, crosses figures and themes which characterise the graphic experience of Picasso and Mirò, linked with a fil rouge which intertwined their lives.

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In Paris, where Miró arrived for the first time in March 1919, he met another outstanding Spaniard: Picasso. The pair of Twentieth Century geniuses share a smiliar love of measurement, proportion, rigour – cubism, constructivism and of the abstract – and the other, more irrational themes of surprise, the fantasy of the absurd and the discovery of a different expressive poetics. 

The exhibition is not just a journey that shows the relationship between history and contemporaneity, but the traditions lived and interpreted by the artists, and the energies, which ignited their creativity, says Gaddi, who shares his key findings to navigate through the exhibition which runs until May 17.

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Picasso’s life demonstrates that the artist can express himself in every way by mastering any technique, and had an unreachable virtuosity which let him do everything, be figurative and then monumental, cubist and then classical, delicate and primitive at the same time.

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At the same time, Picasso proposed himself as a modern demiurgic divinity, pushed to the search of ever-innovative solutions to prevent the threat of repetition and stereotype. This characteristic, as we’ll see below, is identical, and in many ways overlaps, the experience of the years of Mirò’s full maturity.

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Since he was a very young man, Picasso had been gifted with an extraordinary talent which led him to say: “I’ve never created childish drawings: when I was 12 I drew like Raphael”. Throughout his whole life, Picasso never stopped to draw, and it is interesting to see in Dubai the series of the 20 pochoirs, which collect many of his great masterpieces created between 1904 and 1953. These are the years of the malaise of the blue period, the optimism of the pink one, the analytic and synthetic cubist revolution, until the surrealist havens.

A strong link between Picasso and Miró can be read in the dynamics of a tireless passion, which contaminates and infects like a wave in their variegated world and transports their lives in the spaces of mythology and legend. Picasso discovers and draws new skills of expression, which upset the essence of modern art, and in the ceramic experiences, he invents pieces which have the beauty and arcane fascination of the unforeseen.

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Even if at first glance it may seem paradoxical, Miró’s graph elements and marks, although they do not correspond to a realistic character, come from the reality. The work surface circumscribes its simplicity to highlight its power; a power which comes from the artist’s skill to use the gesture, the trait, to knock at the door of emotions. For this reason, Miró’s work can be compared to poetry: indeed his marks go beyond the visual perception.

Therefore, Miró manages to materialize his desire to avoid any distinctions between panting and poetry. He is a master in speaking with the gesture, with the mark. He uses many techniques and, just like Picasso, dominates them all (drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, graphics). His major credit consists in his skill to be master of the mark, to speak a language which is known only by himself, but which everybody understands.