Monday, November 29

The ‘mirós’ from Madrid stay in Barcelona | Culture

The family of the painter Joan Miró has reached an agreement with the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona whereby 54 works by the artist – 44 paintings, nine drawings and a ceramic – will be able to be seen from March 2022 in this center of Barcelona during a five-year term, extendable. To these works are added another five pieces that Alexander Calder gave to Miró, among them a magnificent portrait that he made of him with steel wire, which will also go to the funds of the Barcelona center, so the deposit amounts to 59 pieces. From the end of 2016 until this month of August, these works have been seen in the Miró Space that the Mapfre Foundation had at its headquarters on Recoletos street. After five years, Miró’s works, which cover a wide chronology, from Bellver Forest, from 1910, a pastel on paper made by Miró when he was 17 years old, until 1975, they traveled from Madrid to Barcelona for a long time.

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“The agreement that was signed in 2016 was only for five years and we have respected it. Our essence is temporary exhibitions and this space will now be used for that ”, explains Nadia Arroyo, director of the Mapfre Foundation. “It is an excellent set and that they end up deposited in Barcelona is great news. When we found out, we felt great joy ”, Arroyo continues, remarking that as a finishing touch and“ tribute ”to the presence of Miró in its rooms, the exhibition was organized Miró Poem which closed on August 29, the same day as Espacio Miró.

The new agreement with the painter’s heirs was announced this Thursday by the president of the Joan Miró Foundation board of trustees, Sara Puig, highlighting “the generosity of the family” and the “trust with the center of Barcelona.” The donation, for which there has been no financial compensation, “will reinforce the discourse of the foundation’s collection,” said Puig.

After the closing of the Espacio Miró, many of the works have already traveled to Barcelona. Others have made it to Italy to participate in the exhibition I look. The color of dreams, which can be seen from September 11 to December 12 at the Fundación Magnani-Rocca de Mamiano of Traversetolo (Parma). When it concludes, all the works will be found in Barcelona where they can be seen in March, announced Puig, “in a great presentation exhibition.”

The opening day in 2016 of the Espacio Miró of the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, with three of the works that could be seen there.
The opening day in 2016 of the Espacio Miró of the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, with three of the works that could be seen there.David González / EFE

In addition to Miró’s outstanding early drawing, the set also features several works of style firefighter (in which Miró intervened in a previous work) as Character in a landscape near the town, 1965 o Glass, a ceramic painted by Miró in 1946, which is the only piece of these characteristics that the Miró Foundation in Barcelona will have. When the market value of the 65 pieces were presented in Madrid in 2016 (eight more than those deposited in Barcelona) Pablo Jiménez Burillo, then president of the Mapfre foundation, estimated their value at 150 million euros.

Succession Miró, 202

“The new works make it possible to reconstruct Miró’s legacy to his family, since he gave one work from each series to his wife, while Calder’s five will fill a gap,” said Puig. Until now, the Barcelona center had 217 paintings, 178 sculptures, nine textiles (including the one-ton tapestry that it created in 1979 for its new foundation), four ceramics, two objects, in addition to some 8,000 drawings and the complete library of the artist.

Puig has highlighted that the family’s generosity continues in the line of Miró as “great patron of Barcelona” when he donated his art collection to the city to create the foundation that opened its doors in 1975. A generosity that continued with new donations and deposits of his wife Pilar Juncosa and of different members of the Miró family.

'Trois Boules', a work by Joan Miró made in 1972.
‘Trois Boules’, a work by Joan Miró made in 1972.Succession Miró, 2021

Puig explained that at yesterday’s meeting of the board of trustees in which the donation of the works was reported (made up of 20 people where the Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat and the Ministry of Culture are represented), the incorporation of the artist Ignasi was approved Aballí, of great international projection and that at the Venice Art Biennale in 2022 will be the protagonist of the Spanish pavilion.

Portrait of Miró made by Alexander Calder around 1930 in aluminum.
Portrait of Miró made by Alexander Calder around 1930 in aluminum.

In search of stable financing

The economic issue was also discussed, which has so concerned those responsible for this foundation, after the absence of visitors, especially foreigners who represented more than 70% of the total until 2020, has made the administrations have to inject extraordinary resources to guarantee the conservation of the building and the collection (valued at 3.2 million euros per year). Since the pandemic, the foundation has not been able to open every day, it only does so from Thursday to Sunday, and maintains part of its 57 workers affected by an ERTE.

“They are talking to solve it,” explained Puig, without wanting to go deeper, since an agreement has not yet been reached between the three administrations to see how the new contributions are formalized in a stable and annual way necessary for the correct functioning of the center , with visitors or not. Last year the City Council contributed 1.7 million euros and the Generalitat 1.6 million. And the Ministry after reducing its contributions to 90,000 euros in the next budgets allocates a game of 500,000 euros. The key, as explained by the Barcelona City Council, is that the Government has just materialized the bicapitality agreements with which Pedro Sanchez committed to Ada Colau in February 2020, which will represent a contribution of 20 million euros each year for finance cultural facilities that transcend the Barcelona area due to their importance, such as the Liceo, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Macba or the Joan Miró Foundation.

However, the Foundation describes the situation that this summer has experienced as a “turning point”, since visitors return little by little: this August 11,785 people have visited their collections and the museum designed by Josep Lluís Sert, compared to 2,496 in August last year; a figure far from the 33,275 that did so in the same month of 2019.

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