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Picasso, Miró, Calder | Amitiés & Résonances

Octobre 17th - Novembre 25th 2023

The exhibition “Picasso, Miro, Calder | Amitiés et résonances” celebrates the immeasurable impact of three giants of modern art in the artistic landscape of the 20th century – three geniuses with an eye for simplicity, three poetic visions filled with humor and dexterity. Influenced by the effervescence of Parisian life at the beginning of the 20th century, these three artists witnessed the emergence of the avant-garde and abstraction, before each, in their own way, shaped a new mode of expression. Their art is all about magic and juggling space, line and balance.

Exhibition view © A&R Fleury.Picture Allison Borgo

One of the most fundamental moments of friendship and resonance between these men was certainly when they exhibited together in the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. Calder’s Fontaine de Mercure, Miró’s Le Faucheur and Picasso’s famous Guernica were emblematic works, marking their dedication in denouncing Franco’s violence and the horrors of war in Spain.

“Should you paint what’s on a face? What’s inside a face? Or what’s behind a face?”


Pablo Picasso

Spanish, Catalan and American, Picasso, Miró and Calder were contemporaries who chose to frequent the same scenes in Barcelona and Paris. When they met in Paris in the 20s, the city was in the midst of an artistic boom. These three artists drew on their diverse inspirations to fuel their sensory and emotional research, culminating in the development of an art form in which line was the common thread. This allowed them to experiment extensively, creating shapes, sculptures and silhouettes. They abolished all boundaries between subject and object, opening up new possibilities for reinterpretation. They broke free from convention, revisiting media and different techniques as they tackled new concepts that they attempted to materialize. Line and drawing defy space, balance opposes emptiness, pure color stimulates the eye.


Fascinated by fantasy, the bestial, dreams, childhood, the circus, the heavens, femininity, the sun… Picasso, Miró and Calder were destined to meet. Their works approach common subjects, developing above all a visual dialogue. They radically renewed the way we perceive art, exploring both figuration and abstraction. When their works are compared, the same impressions emerge, whether in painting or sculpture: an innate ability to master time, space and emptiness. Their creativity and versatility lead them to use intertwined, unbroken lines to create forms and creatures in a playful, childlike way.

A Miró insect stings, a Miró snake is dangerous, venomous. How well it expresses the anxieties of our times! In Calder, the same figures are serene […]. A Calder insect laughs, a Calder worm dances, a Calder snake fascinates and seduces – the golden serpent of Eden. Aware of the dangers they can threaten mankind, it is also in their right to exist. Seeing beyond the immediate, the provisional, he gives us joy today – and hope for tomorrow.


Nicolas Guppy, « les gouaches de Calder », in Calder, Derrière le miroir, n°156, Maeght éditeur, Paris, February 1966, p12.

Great dreamers, each of these three artists had their own way of reacting and responding to the unstable and chaotic environment being forged in Europe. If Calder’s optimistic vision is counterbalanced by Miró’s darker one, Picasso finds himself in between, swinging from one side to the other. The latter sees himself in the Catalan artist saying of Miró that “we live in the same world”, without losing his mischievous, playful eye. On two opposing emotional spectrums, the communion between Miró and Calder is incontestable. Their resonance was so obvious that Calder’s mobiles were described in 1936 by the New York Times as “living abstractions of Miro”.

Modernity is a trend that drives human beings to modify the conditions of their existence, thus modernization becomes a vital energy, a kind of impulse. The great artists feed off this dynamic, responding to the historical context of their time, echoing scientific advances and industrialization, with boldness and innovation. As such, their inventions become a feature of modernity, and the most inventive, as with Picasso, Miro or Calder, who enriched modern art with their ideas and continued to inspire generations of artists to come.


Joan Miró, Femme, oiseaux


Pablo Picasso, Buste d'homme


Alexander Calder

Untitled, 1956
Oil on canvas
60,3 x 73 cm | 23 11/16 x 28 11/16 in.

Joan Miró, Oiseau migrateur posé sur un rocher en plein océan


Alexander Calder, Untitled - Maquette


Pablo Picasso

Tête de taureau et scène tauromachique, 1964
Engraving on Flaminaire black lacquer lighter
5 x 6,5 cm | 1 15/16 x 2 1/2 in

Joan Miró, Personnage, oiseau

XI 1977

Alexander Calder, Eastham


Pablo Picasso

La danse, 1964
Grease pencil on paper
37,5 x 53 cm | 14 3/4 x 20 13/16 in.


Miró – Picasso, Celebración Picasso 1973-2023

October 20th 2023 - February 25th 2024

Picasso Museum and Miró Foundation, Barcelone

On the occasion of the “Celebración Picasso 1973-2023” program, a total of fifty events celebrating Picasso are being organized around the world, including an exceptional collaboration between the Picasso Museum and the Miró Foundation. Focusing on two themes, the friendship between the two artists and their attachment to Barcelona, the exhibition brings together over 250 […]

Miró – Picasso, Celebración Picasso 1973-2023

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