PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN OLD MAN

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When artist Joan Miro was 24 years old, he predicted that he would do his best work in old age.

The exhibition, “Joan Miro: Instinct and Imagination,” documents the work he did in his 70’s and 80’s.  In keeping with the idea of positive aging, Miro described himself as working like a gardener: “Everything takes time… Things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen.”

His life-course also manifested the process of life-review.  At age 57 he took out pieces he had done earlier in life and put into storage.  His self-examination of his own work was ruthless: “It was a shock, a real experience,” he said. “I was merciless with myself.”

For Miro, later life creativity also involved exploring new media: after age 70 he used bronze for sculpture for the first time and  after 80 began to paint with his finger.  He said “I think I’ll start doing good work when I’m 70.”  He was concerned, too, for future generations.  In 1975, at age 82 he said “It’s the young people who interest me, not the old dodos.  If I go on working, it’s for the year 2000 and for the people of tomorrow.”

The exhibit of Miro’s late work is being shown at the Denver Art Museum through June 28.

For more on the exhibit, visit: http://denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/joan-miro-instinct-imagination

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