Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Joan Miro s paintings are among the most widely recognized of any modern artist, reproduced everywhere from books to T-shirts to posters. While he is most often seen as a surrealist or a postwar abstract painter, terms he rejected, this book brings new insights into Miro s work by framing it in the context of the turbulent times in which he lived.

Miro s contemporary Picasso left Spain, promising never to return under a Fascist government. In contrast, Miro chose internal exile, removing himself to the island of Mallorca, a decision that has led to him being viewed as a less political artist. This book challenges that impression by focusing on Miro s politically engaged works, from the rural, anarchist tradition and strong Catalan nationalism reflected in early paintings like The Farm and Head of a Catalan Peasant to the triptych The Hope of a Condemned Man (1974) through which he publicly declared his opposition to Franco.

Drawing on new scholarship from an international group of experts, the book accompanies the first exhibition in nearly half a century to show work from throughout Miro s career. It sheds new light on the life and achievements of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.