Back

JOAN MIRO (1893-1983)

 
JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in. JOAN MIRO - Tête de Femme (Déesse) - bronze with black patina - 66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in.
Tête de Femme (Déesse)1970 (cast 1988)66 x 36 1/2 x 30 in.(167.64 x 92.71 x 76.2 cm) bronze with black patina
Provenance
Galerie Maeght-Lelong, Paris
Pacific Art
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 10, 1989, lot 441
Private Collection
Literature
A. Jouffroy and J. Teixidor, Miró Sculptures, Paris, 1973, p. 202, no. 153 (plaster version illustrated, p. 153)
E.F. Miró and P.O. Chapel, Joan Miró: Sculptures, Catalogue Raisonne´, 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, p. 184, no. 182 (another cast illustrated)
Inquire

“In an artwork, you should be able to discover new things every time you see it.” – Joan Miro

History

When Miró remarked to his friend Alexander Calder, “I am an established painter but a young sculptor,” it was direct acknowledgment he had much to learn working with three-dimensional form. After all, Miró had devoted the entirety of his first 53 years to the decidedly unpainterly-paintings with their organic-like forms, flattened picture planes drawn in sharp delineations for which he fundamentally known. But the comment was also accompaniment to the fact he did not turn his attention to producing sculpture in bronze until 1946. Either way, sculpting and casting in bronze attracted a lion’s share of his attention the last four decades of his life. The bronzes in particular represent a substantial contribution to any appraisal of his impressive oeuvre and ultimately invigorated Miró during these later years. The endeavor reminded him of his earliest times when he was excitedly processing information and discovering his unique language of expression that André Breton characterized as ‘the purest Surrealism of us all.’ 

Tête de femme is based upon one of Miró’s most utilized themes. He characterized his sculptures as being from the ‘truly phantasmagoric world of living’ which is, undoubtedly, intended as a term of endearment. Yet Tête de femme seems to evince something less monstrous or grotesque and instead presents in more sobering light as a free-standing, monolithic presence suggesting essential nature, if not a monumental one. Its attributions are fixed, intrinsic, and suggestive of its innateness; a strikingly austere design that adheres to Miró’s resistance to a classic bourgeois concept of ideal beauty. While it does not suggest a simple ‘female figure’ designation, there is plenty of referential material in the curves, domed protrusions, and a central depression suggesting a birthing matrix that in sum, evokes a celebration of fecundity and the creation of life. In any event, any tether to representational reality is a tenuous one, yet one that is calculated to stimulate the imagination and evoke unconscious primordial references and long-forgotten mythologies.

More
  • miro-in-studio-WEB
    Miró in his studio c. 1956
  • Miro-essay-picasso1-WEB
    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), “Bather with Beach Ball”, Boisgeloup, August 30, 1932, oil on canvas, 57 7/8 x 45 1/8 in., Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • miro-essay-Miro2-WEB
    Joan Miró (1883-1983), “Woman”, 1934, pastel on flocked paper, 42 x 48 in., Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
  • miro-essay-Miro3-WEB
    “Tête de femme (Déesse)”, 1970, bronze, 54 x 35 x 29 in., Installed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, U.K.
“The unexpected provokes a shock, and that’s something that attracts me.” – Joan Miro

MARKET INSIGHTS

  • Miro37743_AMR
  • The graph by Art Market Research shows that in the last 20 years, sculptures by Miró have increased at an 11.2% annual rate of return
  • The record price for a Miró sculpture at auction was set in 2015 when La Porte (Objet), 1931 – a much earlier example in a different medium and style – sold for over $13.4 million USD
  • A bronze sculpture comparable in size, year, and style, Femme (Femme debout) from 1969, sold in 2013 for over $9.8 million USD

Top Sculpture Results at Auction

“La Porte (Objet)” (1943), painted wood, metals, turkey feathers and other found objects, 36.6 x 23.5 in. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 4 November 2015 for $13,410,000 USD
“La Porte (Objet)” (1943), painted wood, metals, turkey feathers and other found objects, 36.6 x 23.5 in. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 4 November 2015 for $13,410,000 USD
“Projet pour un monument” (1981), bronze with black patina, 145.7 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 9 May 2007 for $9,896,000 USD
“Projet pour un monument” (1981), bronze with black patina, 145.7 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 9 May 2007 for $9,896,000 USD
“Femme (Femme debout)” (1969), bronze with black patina, 74.4 in. high. Sold at Christie’s London: 6 February 2014 for $9,881,437 USD
“Femme (Femme debout)” (1969), bronze with black patina, 74.4 in. high. Sold at Christie’s London: 6 February 2014 for $9,881,437 USD
“La caresse d’un oiseau” (1967), painted bronze, 122.4 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 15 May 2018 for $9,425,000 USD
“La caresse d’un oiseau” (1967), painted bronze, 122.4 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 15 May 2018 for $9,425,000 USD
“Personnage” (1970), bronze with dark brown and green patina, 80 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 12 November 2015 for $7,109,000 USD
“Personnage” (1970), bronze with dark brown and green patina, 80 in. high. Sold at Christie’s New York: 12 November 2015 for $7,109,000 USD

Paintings in Museum Collections

“Tête de femme (Déesse)” (1970), bronze, 54 x 35 x 29 in., Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, U.K.
“Tête de femme (Déesse)” (1970), bronze, 54 x 35 x 29 in., Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, U.K.
“Personage” (1956), glazed and painted stoneware, 31 ¼ x 9 7/8 x 8 ½ in., Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Personage” (1956), glazed and painted stoneware, 31 ¼ x 9 7/8 x 8 ½ in., Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Woman Addressing the Public: Project for a Monument” (1980-81), bronze, 146 ½ x 96 in., Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
“Woman Addressing the Public: Project for a Monument” (1980-81), bronze, 146 ½ x 96 in., Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
“Moonbird” (1946), bronze, 7 ¼ x 6 ½ x 4 ½ in., Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
“Moonbird” (1946), bronze, 7 ¼ x 6 ½ x 4 ½ in., Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
“An artwork should be fertile. It must give birth to a world.” – Joan Miro

Image Gallery

Additional Resources

Museum of Modern Art curator Anne Umland and the artist’s grandson, Joan Punyet Miró, examine the ways in which Miro worked to achieve a heightened state of awareness in which to paint.
“Eight Sculptures by Joan Miró” – video from recent gallery exhibition benefitting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Inquire

Inquire - Art Single

Other Works by Joan Miro

You May Also Like