Joan Miró exhibition in Israel

New Exhibition Explores Recurring Motif of Joan Miró’s Spanish Dancer


Joan Miro, The Hunter (Catalan Landscape), Montroig, July 1923-Winter 1924

The Israel Museum presents the second exhibition in its “Focus” series, which takes as its starting point two works from the Museum’s own holdings: Joan Miró’s Painting (Spanish Dancer), 1927, and his drawing Untitled (Spanish Dancer), 1924. Miró’s fascination with Spanish dancers unfolds through a series of paintings, drawings, and sketches produced over a period of sixty years. The fifteen works on display, from the Museum’s collection and on loan from international institutions and private collections, draw on symbols and imagery recurrent in Miró’s oeuvre and are rendered through a profusion of artistic styles. Joan Miró’s Spanish Dancer explores this theme within the artist’s oeuvre, analyzing its iconographic sources, connection with the artist’s worldview, and its place within the development of Miró’s artistic language. The exhibition is on view from February 26 through June 29, 2013.

The two works from the Museum’s collection, Painting (Spanish Dancer), 1927, and Untitled (Spanish Dancer), 1924, stand at the core of this analysis of an important ensemble of works that both draw on imagery recurrent in the oeuvre of Joan Miró and establish a vocabulary of visual signs connected with the image of the Spanish dancer. Flamenco’s sensuous display of the upper torso, articulate hand gestures and percussive footwork inspired Miró to produce more than thirty sketches, drawings, paintings, and collages of Spanish dancers over a period of sixty years, between 1921 and 1981. These witty and playful works are rendered in a variety of styles—from realism and cubism, to surrealism and abstract collage—and exhibit Miró’s constant experimentation with form, medium, and technique. Miró’s dancers draw upon childhood memories, Catalan art and folkloric objects that he collected. They are also linked with the popularity of Spanish themes within Parisian avant-garde painting, sculpture, and music during the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. As an artist who divided his time between Paris, Barcelona, and his family farm in Montroig (Tarragona), Miró’s choice to pursue the Spanish dancer (titled in French by the artist in most cases as danseuse espagnole) reflects a desire to use an icon of “Spanishness” in France to express his origins in an evolving personal, yet at the same time universal, avant-garde language.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, David Rockefeller Curator, The Stella Fischbach Departm

About the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. In just 45 years, thanks to a legacy of gifts and generous support from its circle of patrons worldwide, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects, representing the full scope of world material culture.

In the summer of 2010, the Israel Museum completed the most comprehensive upgrade of its 20-acre campus in its history, featuring new galleries, entrance facilities, and public spaces. The three-year expansion and renewal project was designed to enhance visitor experience of the Museum’s collections, architecture, and surrounding landscape, complementing its original design by Alfred Mansfeld and Dora Gad. Led by James Carpenter Design Associates of New York and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects of Tel Aviv, the project also included the complete renewal and reconfiguration of the Museum’s Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing, and Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life.

Among the highlights of the Museum’s original campus is the Shrine of the Book, designed by Armand Bartos and Frederick Kiesler, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, as well as rare early medieval biblical manuscripts. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE, and provides historical context to the Shrine’s presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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In addition to the extensive programming offered on its main campus, the Israel Museum also operates two off-site locations: the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, an architectural gem built in 1938 for the display of archaeology from ancient Israel; and Ticho House, which offers an ongoing program of exhibitions by younger Israeli artists in a historic house and garden setting.ent of Modern A

The Israel Museum Jérusalem