Head

Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893 - 1983

Geography:
Made in Paris, France, Europe

Date:
1927

Medium:
Oil, aqueous medium, and graphite on glue-sized canvas

Dimensions:
57 1/2 x 44 5/8 inches (146 x 113.3 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Modern Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 169, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor

Accession Number:
1974-178-37

Credit Line:
The Albert M. Greenfield and Elizabeth M. Greenfield Collection, 1974

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Label:
In a 1928 interview in the Barcelona newspaper La Publicitat, Joan Miró revealed that Picasso had recently visited his Paris studio on the rue Tourlaque and told him that he was the only artist to have taken a step forward in painting after him. Picasso especially admired the Catalan artist's most recent paintings, which were executed on a toast-colored bare canvas with a minimum of paint application. The impact of these chromatically austere paintings can be discerned in Picasso's own work of the late 1920s, which often uses the beige or brown ground of the unprimed canvas as the point of departure for his own expressive distortions.

Provenance

With Henriette Gomès, Paris, 1938 [1]; sold to Albert M. Greenfield (1886-1967) and Elizabeth M. Greenfield (later Mrs. Donald A. Petrie) (1912-2003), Philadelphia, May 16, 1956 [2]; estate of Albert M. Greenfield; gift to PMA, 1974. 1. According to her letter of 16 May 1956 to Albert Greenfield (copy in curatorial file), Gomès acquired the painting in 1938, without a history. However, she and her husband were close friends of Miró beginning in the 1930's: see the introduction to the sale catalogue of their library, Drouot Montaigne, Paris, "La Bibliothèque d'Henriette et André Gomes," June 18, 1997. Henriette Gomès also worked for Miró's dealer Pierre Loeb beginning in 1934, before she opened her own gallery in 1938. Miró gave André and Henriette Gomès some of his artwork on the occasion of their marriage in 1938, and they also purchased some canvases from him, so it is possible she obtained the painting directly from the artist (see interview with André Gomès by Maurice Fréchuret, in Le regard d'Henriette: collection Henriette et André Gomès, exhibition catalog, Musée Picasso d'Antibes, 1994, p. 9, 18-19). Her comment that the painting "does not have a history" may simply mean that the work had no prior owners other than Miró before she acquired it. As a Jew, she fled Paris during the Nazi occupation, and her gallery was seized as Jewish property. She and her husband were active in the French Resistance. She reopened the Galerie Henriette at 6 rue du Cirque, Paris, in 1949-50. 2. Copy of dated receipt from Gomès to Greenfield in curatorial file.


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