L'Oiseau au plumage rougeâtre annonce l'apparition de la femme éblouissante de beauté, 1972
signed and numbered 'Miró 2/2' (on the base),
bronze with green and brown patina
Height: 87 3/8 in. (222 cm.)
Conceived in 1972 Cast in an edition of 5
Galerie Maeght, Paris.
Miles & Shirley Fiterman Collection, USA
& J. Teixidor, Miró sculptures, Paris, 1973, no. 234, p. 241.
Gimferrer, The Roots of Miró, Barcelona, 1993, no. 1263, p. 407.
Miró, Paris, 2004, no. 403, p. 377 (another cast illustrated).
Miró & P.O. Chapel, Joan Miró, Sculptures, Catalogue raisonné 1928-1982,
Paris, 2006, no. 281, p. 268 (another cast illustrated p. 269).
A. Jouffroy & J. Teixidor, Miró sculptures, Paris, 1973, no. 234, p. 241.
P. Gimferrer, The Roots of Miró, Barcelona, 1993, no. 1263, p. 407.
J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2004, no. 403, p. 377 (another cast illustrated).
F. Miró & P.O. Chapel, Joan Miró, Sculptures, Catalogue raisonné 1928-1982, Paris, 2006, no. 281, p. 268 (another cast illustrated p. 269)
‘Nothing is foreign to painting, to etching, to sculpture: one can work with anything – everything can be useful. If I frequently integrate the objects as they are, with raw materials, it is not to obtain a plastic effect but by necessity. It is in order to produce the shock of one reality against another…I need to walk on my earth, to live among my own, because everything that is popular is necessary for my work.’
(Miró, ‘L’humanité’, in The Shape of Colour: Joan Miró’s Painted Sculpture, exh. cat., Washington, D.C., 2002, p. 21)
Magnificently soaring from the ground, Joan Miró’s L’Oiseau au plumage rougeâtre annonce l’apparition de la femme éblouissante de beauté ‘ (The Russet-Feathered Bird Announces the Apparition of the Dazzlingly Beautiful Woman’) is an elegant and poetic sculpture conceived in 1972. At over two metres tall, this work is created from disparate, ‘found’ objects, cast in bronze, illustrating the artist’s playful and inventive imagination, and revealing his ability at envisioning birds and human figures from an amalgamation of seemingly incongruous, quotidian and natural objects. A long elegant branch stretches upwards, a cauliflower attached to its length, as well as shoe-like form that extends from one of its arms, on top of which a piece of metal balances in a state of perfect equilibrium with another shoe delicately placed on top. The highly elaborate and poetic title of the present work serves to transform the pieces of the sculpture into the figure of a ‘dazzling woman’, with the placement of the cauliflower and the piece of metal on the branch serving perhaps as symbols of the female sex.
L’Oiseau au plumage is one of Miró’s ‘Assemblage-sculptures’, which dominated his late oeuvre. From the 1940s, when Miró returned to Mont-roig del Camp during the Second World War, he had begun to amass objects that he found on walks in the countryside and along the seashore. Over the following years, the artist continued this process, collecting everything from tree-trunks, stones and bones to tin-cans, ironing boards and wheels, storing them in his studio until inspiration struck and he combined various pieces to create a large, free-standing sculpture. The artist’s great friend and biographer, Jacques Dupin described this working process: ‘These works began with Miró slipping out of his studio, unseen, only to return with an impromptu harvest of objects – his bounty – without value or use, but susceptible, in his view, of combinations and surprising metamorphoses. All these objects had been abandoned, thrown away or forgotten by nature and man alike, and Miró recognized them as his own. This refuse was the visionary’s secret treasure, his infinitely rich deposit of insignificant objects, still imbued with the smells of the beach, construction site, dump or port where they had been found’ (J. Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1993, p. 374). With an acute sensitivity to the textures, scale, volume and material of the objects in L’Oiseau au plumage rougeâtre annonce l’apparition de la femme éblouissante de beauté, Miró, without consciously disguising or transfiguring the pieces, invented a new form of sculpture, infused with a magical poeticism that is so unique to both the painting and sculpture of the prolific Spanish artist.
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