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Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting

A monograph supporting Joan MirĂ³'s fifth major exhibition at New York's MoMA is no substitute for being there, but the nearly 200 image volume does have its advantages.

Book Digest Over Spanish painter Joan Miró’s (1893-1983) long and storied career he spent more than a decade in aggressive experimentation with material, media, and subjects--"I want to assassinate painting”—and it is the transformative period from 1927 to 1937 that is the focus of an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (ending Jan. 12). MoMA’s Anne Umland, who assembled this show (the fifth major Miró exhibition in the museum’s history) explains: “…the resulting body of work is at times willfully ugly, and at other times savagely beautiful. [The exhibition] brings together both beloved masterpieces and largely unfamiliar works, transforming our understanding of MirĂ³'s legacy…” The show presents 12 distinct series of works that conclude with Miró’s non-pareil Still Life With Old Shoe.

The handsome monograph, Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting, 1927-1937 (MoMA), that serves as the exhibition catalogue runs 250 pages, including nearly 200 images and illuminating analysis. This tome is no substitute for being there, but it does have its advantages. I leave it to you to tally them up.
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