Joan Miró’s Modernism for Everybody

Peter Schjeldahl at The New Yorker:

“Painting,” painted by Joan Miró in 1933, in Barcelona, is a composition of black, red, and white blobby shapes and linear glyphs on a ground of bleeding and blending greens and browns. It hangs in “Joan Miró: Birth of the World,” an enchanting show at the Museum of Modern Art that draws on the museum’s immense holdings of Miró’s work, along with a few loans. “Painting” is a bit sombre, for him, but it has the ineffably friendly air of nearly all his art: adventurous but easy-looking, an eager gift to vision and imagination. It invokes a word inevitably applied to Miró: “poetic,” redolent of the magic, residual in us, of childhood rhymes, with or without figurative elements. Never unsettling in the ways of, say, Matisse or, for heaven’s sake, Picasso, Miró is a modernist for everybody. (He died in 1983, at the age of ninety.) This has given him a peculiar trajectory in the modern-art canon: he was considered majestic at points in the past, in ways that feel somewhat flimsy now. Looking at “Painting” helps me think about the art world’s shifting estimation of the “international Catalan,” as Miró termed himself. It stirs a personal memory.

more here.