Saturday, March 29, 2014

Miró: The Experience of Seeing – Seattle Art Museum

Feb 13 – May 25, 2014 at the Seattle Art Museum. This exhibition focuses on Miró's "late" work, but that might not mean a whole lot when you don’t know what the early work is. Okay, off to a bad start. And then, no audio guide. I guess I’m kind of hooked on audio guides and I didn't get my fix. Reading the information written next to the works wasn't so bad, but it was on the sparse side, perhaps taking their cue from the canvases on display.

The exhibition was a sedate affair for me (in comparison to past SAM exhibitions). Nothing stirred me to pull out a notebook to jot down a note or two. I’m not sure why. I loved our visit to the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona back in 2004. That same magic didn't happen here. The other half of Travelmarx was digging the sculptures here in the SAM exhibition. I wasn't moved by the sculptures or paintings. And, a 1974 interview film of Miró was annoying with it’s self-conscious existential questions, improvised hand slap “action” cues (the filmmakers apparently left their clapperboard home), followed by close-up of Miró's nose or something like that.

From the exhibition notes: “Bold and colorful paintings employing his personal visual language alternate with near-abstract compositions.” In this exhibit, that language includes the following French words: femme (woman), tête (head), paysage (landscape), étoile (star), and oiseau (bird). Almost all the pieces in this exhibition seemed to include one or more of these words. (Miró was Spanish, but titled almost all his pieces in French.)

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