Saturday, April 23, 2011

Miró at the Maeght

I have been up to the Var and back on the train and now am busy shaping up the garden.   So the blog has taken a back seat for a while.

 It hasn't helped that I got a hold of an infection of the trachea...lord knows how, and I was quite resistant to going to the doc for two weeks, as I was afraid that he would propose antibiotics.  I am saving all of my antibiotic chits to cash in when I really need them.... which I hope is never.  

But due to the sane health-care system here in France, my doctor gave me a few anti-inflamatories for the throat and some cough medicine.  That plus the visit was 25 euros!!   And I am greatly improved in the last few days.

 My generalist  has a funky little office with some hard chairs , magazines and a tv mounted on the wall. He has no secretary and answers the phone himself when you are in consultation with him,  but he is just down the street and as far as I can tell from several visits now, quite competent.  A specialist will charge more here and some with fancy offices do.  My chiropractor is 45 euros and my dermatologist can be 60 euros if she does any threatments.  

 But even then, if you consider the treatment and equipment involved it is not expensive by American standards.  And this is not counting what is covered by insurance.   We all need a Dr Barzic within walking distance of our house whether we are on French health care or not. 

but I digress...

I would like to share a few pics of the Joan Miró exhibition that is going on at the  Foundation Maeght at Saint-Paul de Vence.   in conjunction with L'abstraction en Europe and Erik Deitman showings. 

   I am here to say that my husband owned some very credible Miró Lithographs when I met him.. over thirty years ago.  I was young and not yet started on a quest for art and felt a real sense of betrayal when I saw those Miro paintings.  The artist seemed to me at the time, to be doing work less credible than  my class of eight year olds.  

 I teased Monsieur about his taste, about the unmixed colors and the unsophisticated scratches that characterize most of the Spanish artist's work that I saw on the walls.  In the end he sold them all knowing I didn't like them much.

  Now having studied art for some 20 years I see how difficult it is to protect that innocent part of one's psyche , to use the first image without over-working it, to rely and depend on one's inner eye.  I now enjoy Miro's juvenile colors right- from -the- tube , his child-like scrawls and markings.

 So I quite happily engage with these pictures now.   There is a freshness to Miro' s conception and execution which characterizes a "free man".  I would love to feel this freedom when I am painting.   I get the feeling, Miró doesn't know self doubt and that makes his work joyful.

All photos by Mary Payne

I also appreciate, that when Miró conceives his installations, he makes or remakes all the stools, chairs and stands that he displays his sculptures on.  They are not just commercial furniture covered.  Notice that they are not really symmetrical.  They appear to have taken hours of preparation... perhaps rendered in wheat paste and paper strips after making the armatures. In fact I find these stands to be much more interesting than the objects placed on them.

Most of the artist's main sculptures are sprinkled around the grounds of the gallery as part of the permanent exhibition at the Maeght and before you label them as too shiny, too garish or too monstrous,  put a finger to your eye and eliminate them from the your sight and see how dull it looks with them gone.  They have been carefully chosen and placed and it is one of the reasons we all love these surrounding grounds.


                                              Two, three... more subdued Miró scuptures in the garden.

  One of Miro' s colorful sculptures( at the right peeking out)... as seen from an upstairs window.

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