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JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)

 
JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in. JOAN MIRO - Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation - oil on canvas - 50 3/4 x 38 1/8 in.
Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation197450 3/4 x 38 1/8 in.(129 x 96.5 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Hakone Museum, Gora, Japan
Private Collection, Europe
Sale, Sotheby's New York, Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, 4 November 2014, lot 32
Private Collection, California
Exhibition
Paris, Grand Palais, Miró, 1974, no. 210, illustrated in the catalogue
Wichita, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Joan Miró. Paintings and Graphics, 1978
Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution & Buffal
...More...o, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Miró, 1980, no. 45, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Miró in America, 1982, no. 32, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Zurich, Kunsthaus & Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Miró, 1986, no. 167, illustrated in color in the catalogue
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Miró, 1987, no. 145, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Literature
Walter Erben, Joan Miró,Cologne, 1988, illustrated in color p. 215
Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paintings V. 1969-1975, Paris, 2003, no. 1599, illustrated in color p. 203
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“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music” – Joan Miró

History

Boldly painted with a ferocity that belies the expectations we have of a man in his eightieth year, Oiseau, insecte, constellation affirms Miró’s deep-seated interest in the renewal of symbols that occupied him all his life. As a motif, a bird invariably expresses his lifelong concern for independence and freedom. ‘Constellation’, on the other hand is a bit more conflicted; it is as much a celebration of skyward nocturnal vastness and its accompanying themes of wonder, joy, nature as it is of ‘escape’, the theme that illuminates the deepest appreciation for his Constellation masterworks created during the most troubled period of his life between January 1940 and September 1941. Oiseau, insecte, constellation is not a painting that celebrates these themes with the childlike wonderment of the world for which Miró is most often known. But there is something deeply stirring here that aptly demonstrates what gallerist Pepe Pinya expressed when he said a Miró can be “a punch in the face to wake you up.”

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  • miro-essay1
    Joan Miró Photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Miro-38326 History
    Joan Miró in his studio, after 1974. “Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation” leans against the wall. Photograph: Claude Prévost
  • miro-essay3
    Joan Miró, “L’étoile matinale (Morning Star)” (1940), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
  • miro-essay4
    Joan Miró, “The Hope of a Condemned Man” (1974), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness” – Joan Miró

MARKET INSIGHTS

  • Miro AMR Graph
  • Joan Miro’s importance in the development of Surrealism and 20th Century art is indisputable.
  • The graph by Art Market Research shows that since 1976, paintings by Miro have increased at a 4.5% annual rate of return. Miro oil paintings are increasingly difficult to acquire as there is a strong international demand for his work.
  • Miro’s Peinture (Étoile Bleue) from 1927 sold for over $37 million at auction in 2012, shattering the existing Miro record. The present work, Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation (1974) is currently available for a more accessible price. Miro’s works from the 1960s and ‘70s have incredible growth potential at their current price level.
  • In 2021, one can acquire an important, monumentally scaled Miro oil on canvas for the same cost as a desirable Picasso drawing.

Top Results at Auction

"Peinture (Étoile Bleue)" (1927), oil on canvas, 45 ½ x 35 in. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 19 June 2012 for $37,063,472 USD.
“Peinture (Étoile Bleue)” (1927), oil on canvas, 45 ½ x 35 in. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 19 June 2012 for $37,063,472 USD.
"Femme et Oiseaux" (1940), gouache and oil wash on paper, 15 x 18 in.  Sold at Sotheby’s London: 21 June 2017 for $31,119,000 USD.
“Femme et Oiseaux” (1940), gouache and oil wash on paper, 15 x 18 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: 21 June 2017 for $31,119,000 USD.
"Peinture (Femme au Chapeau Rouge)" (1927), 51 x 38 ¼ in.  Sold at Sotheby’s London: 28 July 2020 for $28,874,000 USD.
“Peinture (Femme au Chapeau Rouge)” (1927), 51 x 38 ¼ in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: 28 July 2020 for $28,874,000 USD.
"Painting-Poem" (1925), oil on canvas 51 ½ x 38 in.  Sold at Christie’s London: 07 February 2012 for $26,758,000 USD.
“Painting-Poem” (1925), oil on canvas 51 ½ x 38 in. Sold at Christie’s London: 07 February 2012 for $26,758,000 USD.

Comparable Paintings Sold at Auction

"Femme, oiseau" (1972), oil on canvas, 35 x 51 in.  Sold at auction November 2009 for $4,786,500.
“Femme, oiseau” (1972), oil on canvas, 35 x 51 in. Sold at auction November 2009 for $4,786,500.
  • Comparable in quality, size, and year. Slightly more color than our piece, though Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation showcases Miro’s masterful use of negative space.
  • Both works show Miro’s surrealistic interpretation of the bird, a favored subject of the artist.
  • Since the 2009 sale of Femme, oiseau (1972), Miro’s market has increased considerably, including the world record-setting sale for a painting at auction in 2012 when Peinture (Étoile Bleue), sold for $37 million.
"Femme à la voix de rossignol dans la nuit" (1971), oil on canvas, 51 x 76 ½ in. Sold at auction June 2014 for $7,743,500.
“Femme à la voix de rossignol dans la nuit” (1971), oil on canvas, 51 x 76 ½ in. Sold at auction June 2014 for $7,743,500.
  • Femme à la voix de rossignol dans la nuit (1971) is the highest value 1970s work to sell at auction. It is larger than our painting, though a comparable period and subject.
  • More extensive use of color, though both works showcase Miro’s mastery of oil painting in his mature period.
  • As fewer paintings from the 1920s and ‘30s come up for sale, prudent collector’s, museum curators and galleries will look for other historically important periods in Miro’s career. The 1960s and ‘70s works have long been undervalued, a trend we are starting to see change as the limited supply of early paintings enter museum collections where they will likely remain.
"Le Sourire nacré devant l'azur" (1972), oil on canvas, 51 x 77 in.  Sold at auction February 2013 for $3,220,000.
“Le Sourire nacré devant l’azur” (1972), oil on canvas, 51 x 77 in. Sold at auction February 2013 for $3,220,000.
  • A minimalist composition, lacking the complex compositional elements found in Oiseau, Insecte, Constellation (1974).
  • Comparable amount of color.
  • Larger than our painting with similar focus on the effect of positive and negative space on a large canvas.

Paintings in Museum Collections

"Woman in Front of the Shooting Star III" (1974), acrylic on canvas, 80 ½ x 76 ¾. in., Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.
“Woman in Front of the Shooting Star III” (1974), acrylic on canvas, 80 ½ x 76 ¾. in., Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.
"Seated Woman II" (1939), oil on canvas, 63 ¾ x 51 ¼ in., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
“Seated Woman II” (1939), oil on canvas, 63 ¾ x 51 ¼ in., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
"Woman Entranced by the Escape of Shooting Stars" (1969), acrylic on canvas, 76 ¾ x 51 ¼ in., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
“Woman Entranced by the Escape of Shooting Stars” (1969), acrylic on canvas, 76 ¾ x 51 ¼ in., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
"Painting" (1933), oil on canvas, 68 ½ x 77 ¼ in., The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Painting” (1933), oil on canvas, 68 ½ x 77 ¼ in., The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Throughout the time in which I am working on a canvas I can feel how I am beginning to love it, with that love which is born of slow comprehension” – Joan Miró

Image Gallery

Additional Resources

Read: Joan Miró’s Majorca Studio Recreated in All Its Cluttered Glory
Watch: How to see | Joan Miró – video from the Museum of Modern Art
Joan Miro exhibition at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

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