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L'espoir nous revient par la fuite des constellations
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About the item

The stunning L'espoir nous revient par la fuite des constellation is one of three "direct expression" paintings that Miró completed in 1954 at his studio in Montroig.  This picture, along with Le Ciel entrebaillé nous rend l'espoir and La Chevelure défaite à la fuite des constellations, are characterized by their large format and unhindered application of paint, sometimes by unorthodox means.  Slapping the canvas with a painted hand, the artist unleashes his intensity and physically connects with his work in a manner that was unseen in his paintings of earlier years.  Writing about these picture, Jacques Dupin noted that "his physical vehemence steadies his line, subdues the vibration of colors, and touches us more keenly.  The atmosphere is murkier in these works, for they have been born of the night and are charged with its intense vapors and its mystery" (J. Dupin, Miró, 2012, p. 298). The title of the present work, which translates as Hope comes back to us as the Constellations Flee, references Miró's celebrated Constellations series from over a decade earlier and also alludes to an atmosphere of uncertainty amidst the bejeweled night sky.  Dupin explains that Miró's uses his color choices to animate the picture: "The brush has plainly been dipped in some very fluid paint to give us this animated red-earth background, a sort of warm mud tinged with blood and iron.  The same whitish trail of smoke reappears, but it is not lighter in texture, more impalpable; the swirling half circle it forms is extended by big fleecy black dots that double back on themselves.  This vast serpentine movement is held in check by three unmoving black ellipses which seem to come out of the canvas like nocturnal suns.  Meanwhile there is something faintly human about the heavy black sign, suggesting stairs, at the top.  Neither exactly rising or falling, it sustains home, and once more imprints of hands are incorporated.  This canvas is less dramatic than the last, but perhaps more disturbing.  What it discloses is not a wall, but some muddy  space glimpsed in the dim light of a cave; what we have here is a play of dank vapors, shifting gleams of light, and searing imprints of the primordial mud" (ibid., p. 300).\nWith  the present work and the other two canvases in this series, Miró was offering a challenge to the art world at large.  Rather than trying to appeal to a rarified audience with pristine or finely detailed compostions, Miró was now attempting to engage the popular imagination through unfettered expressiveness.  Unlike the refined Constellations pictures that had brought him immense critical acclaim in the 1940s, these pictures were a bold new venture for the artist, with their grandiose format and rigorous application of paint.  Dupin explained Miró's approach to these pictures by discussing the artist's "expansion tendency," or his desire to break new ground with his art.\nThe first owner of this picture was the Washington D.C.-based philanthropist and art collector Gilbert Hart Kinney.  Kinney served as trustee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Archives of American Art, the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery, and is presently Chair Emeritus of the American Federation of the Arts.\nSigned Miró (lower right); signed Miró and dated 1954 on the reverse
US
NY, US
US

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Joan Miró

condition

Very good condition. Original canvas. Under UV, there is some scattered retouching to the extreme edges. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

44 7/8 by 57 1/2 in.

exhibition

Bruxelles, Palais des Beaux Arts, Joan Miró, 1956, no. 69 Basel, Kunsthalle Basel, Joan Miró, 1956, no. 84, illustrated in the catalogue Baden-Baden, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Joan Miró, 1956, no. 57 New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Miró, 1959, no. 103, illustrated in the catalogue The Los Angeles County Museum, Miró, 1959, no. 110 Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Joan Miró, 1966, no. 97, illustrated in the catalogue Kyoto, Museum of Modern Art & Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Joan Miró, 1966, no. 81, illustrated in the catalogue Knokke-Heist, Casino Communal, Joan Miró, 1971, no. 39, illustrated in the catalogue

literature

Jacques Prévert & Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Joan Miró, Paris, 1956, p. 192 Eduard Hüttinger, Miró, Bern, 1957, no. 50 Walter Erben, Joan Miró, Munich, 1969, illustrated pl. VIII Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1961, no. 852, p. 425 Yves Bonnefoy, Miró, Paris, 1964, no. 57 Margit Rowell, Joan Miró, Peinture=Poésie, La Différence, Paris, 1976, illustrated in color p. 88 Guy Weelen, Miró, Paris, 1990, no. 85, p. 121 Pere Gimferrer, Les arrels de Miró, Barcelona, 1993, no. 849, illustrated p. 381 Jacques Dupin & Ariane Lelong-Mainland, Miró. Catalogue raisonné. Paintings 1942-55, Paris, 2001, no. 966, illustrated p. 232 Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2012, discussed p. 300

provenance

Galerie Maeght, Paris (acquired from the artist) Gilbert Hart Kinney, Washington D.C. Marlborough Gallery, New York

signedDate

Signed Miró (lower right); signed Miró and dated 1954 on the reverse

time_period

Painted in 1954.

consignmentDesignation

Property from a Swiss Charitable Foundation

creator_nationality_dates

1893 - 1983





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