Although theCatalan Surrealist, Joan Miro, is best known for his 1393 Born on 20 April at 4 pasaje del paintings, his later years were mainly devoted to hlS sculpture. Credito in Barcelona. His fathen a ieweller Miranda France looks back over his career, as a major retrospective and ClOCkmake" “Peas him ‘0 take “P a exhibition opens in Edinburgh.

career in business.

1907 Attends business school in Barcelona, but persuades his parents to let him study drawing at La Llotja School of Fine Arts. Both courses end in failure and Miro abandons his artistic vocation.

191 0-1911 Starts work as a book-keeper in a large Barcelona store but. profoundly depressed by his situation, Miro suffers a nervous breakdown complicated by typhoid fever. Convalescing in Montroig, he takes up drawing again.

1912-1915 Attends Francesco Gali’s progressive art school in Barcelona and rediscovers his vocation. Gali introduces

‘I’ve always been very much concerned with pictorial construction, not just poetic associations, and that’s where I differed from the Surrealists.’

him to modern art, particularly Van Gogh and the Cubists and fosters Miro’s sculptural approach to drawing: ‘He told me to close my eyes, feel an object or even a friend’s head, then draw it from purely tactile memory,‘ he explained later.‘That’s why I have such a feeling for volume and find sculpture so interesting. though I didn’t try sculpture until later on.’ 1916—18 A major exhibition of French Impressionist art in Barcelona gives Miro his first opportunity to see the works of his heroes Manet, Monet and Matisse at first hand. He describes it as ‘almost a religious experience‘. Around this time Miro gets his first brush with Dadaism when the movement’s pioneer, Francis Picabia, moves to Barcelona. 1919 Travels to Paris, taking with him a cake baked by Picasso‘s mother for her son. Picasso junior welcomes Miro to Paris and introduces him to some useful agents and the odd Cubist. Miro lives the life of the archetypal poor artist in a grubby, , cockroach-infested fifth-floor room. His

' {3 ; first Paris exhibition, sponsored by sundry

:3 g" Surrealists, is a terrible failure, although

l ' ' Picasso buys his Portrait of a Spanish 'i ' ' Dancer. 1921 Paints The Farm, still very much in the Cubist tradition but already displaying some of the characteristics that will make Miro’s later work famous. ‘Nobody liked it,’ Miro said later. ‘It was a very big picture, very hard to sell. I had no money, but I had to take a taxi to carry it to dealers.’ Eventually Ernest Hemingway buys the painting ‘for pennies’. Hemingway becomes a good friend of Miro’s and a sparring partner at the

Wild Woman 1969-70 (bronze) 8The List 31 July— 13 August 19‘):