15 Quotes from Joan Miró 

15 Quotes from Joan Miró 

"For me, a painting must give off sparks. It must dazzle like the beauty of a woman or a poem." – Joan Miró

For Joan Miró: Instinct and Imagination we collected many quotes. Some of them appear on the walls in the exhibition. Below is a selection of our favorite quotes by Miró on the creative process, artistic goals, his inspiration, and his beliefs about old age.

  1. I painted in a frenzy, with real violence so that people will know that I am alive, that I’m breathing, that I still have a few more places to go. I’m heading in new directions.
  2. Yes, it took me just a moment to draw this line with the brush. But it took me months, perhaps even years, of reflection to form the idea.
  3. I only use the objects I find. I gather them altogether in my studio, which is very large. I lay the objects all around on the floor and choose this or that one. I never make sculptures from sketches, I just put them together.
  4. A form gives me an idea, this idea evokes another form, and everything culminates in figures, animals, and things I had no way of foreseeing in advance.
  5. What is very important for me is when I work without working….when I walk, when I do nothing, when I eat. When ideas come to me like that…when it bubbles in my head and in my mind this is what has an enormous importance.
  6. I begin my paintings because something jolts me away from reality. This shock can be caused by a little thread that comes loose from the canvas, a drop of water that falls, the fingerprint my thumb leaves on the shiny surface of this table.
  7. When I stand in front of a canvas, I never know what I’m going to do – and nobody is more surprised than I at what comes out.
  8. The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I am overwhelmed when I see a crescent moon or the sun in an immense sky. In my paintings there are often tiny forms in vast empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains – everything that has been stripped bare has always made a strong impression on me.
  9. In a painting, you should be able to discover new things each time you look at it. For me, a painting must give off sparks. It must dazzle like the beauty of a woman or a poem.
  10. My figures underwent the same simplification as my colors. Simplified as they are, they are more human and more alive than they would be if represented in all their detail. Represented in detail, they would lose their imaginary quality, which enhances everything.
  11. For me, an object is a living thing.
  12. I work in a state of passion, transported. When I begin a canvas, I’m obeying a physical impulse, the need to throw myself; it’s like a physical outlet.
  13. I think of my studio as a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water.
  14. The older I get and the more I master the medium, the more I return to my earliest experiences. I think that at the end of my life I will recover all the force of my childhood. (Age 67)
  15. It's the young people who interest me, and not the old dodos. If I go on working, it's for the year 2000, and for the people of tomorrow. (Age 82)

This exhibition travels to the DAM from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Danielle St. Peter is the interpretive specialist for modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum, as well as the manager of tour programs. She has been with the DAM since June 2013.

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