A friendship united by art: joint Miró and Picasso exhibition opens in Barcelona
Two museums display 338 art pieces until February 2024 to commemorate anniversaries of both artists
The new Miró-Picasso exhibition will take visitors from 1917 to a post-World War II landscape through two of the most internationally renowned Spanish painters.
In a first and unique joint exhibition, Barcelona's Picasso Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation narrate the friendship of both artists through 338 art pieces in two different spaces but in one show, opening from Friday, October 20 to February 25, 2024.
The joint exhibition "celebrates this artistic friendship, but also personal friendship between [Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso], and we have structured the exhibit in seven sections that can be seen in both museums in Barcelona," Sònia Villegas, curator of the show in the Joan Miró Foundation, told Catalan News.
The seven sections are divided between both museums but follow a story: The Meeting, Paris Surrealism, Painting and Scripture, The War Years, Painting Ceramics, Picasso's Style and Miró's Language, and finally Miró's Tribute to Picasso.
Among the 338 art pieces are some which have never been shown before in Barcelona, such as Pablo Picasso's 'The Three Dancers' from 1925, which is normally on display in London's Tate Gallery and now visible in the Joan Miró Foundation. Also, Joan Miró's 'Dona, ocell, estrella' (Tribute to Pablo Picasso) from 1966 to 1973, which is normally in Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum, and now is hanging at the Picasso Museum in the Catalan capital.
Two museums, one exhibition
The show is designed so "visitors can start wherever they want. But, from a chronological point of view, the exhibition starts at the Joan Miró Foundation because the first area is focused on the meeting of the two artists in Barcelona in 1917," Elena Llorens, curator of the show at Picasso Museum, told this media outlet.
"At the Picasso Museum, the exhibition starts with the meeting of the artists, not here in Barcelona, but in Paris in 1920, when Miró arrives in Paris, and one of the first things he does is go and see Picasso," she added, before explaining that the Catalan painter brought a parcel to Picasso from his mother, who was also a friend of Miró's mother.
"At the Joan Miró Foundation, Miró looks up to Picasso," Villegas said to Catalan News. Something which also happens with Picasso in the other museum. It is all "very schematic, but that is why visitors can start in any venue, because it is the meeting between the two artists that we [the curators] want to underline," she added.
The show is part of several activities organized to commemorate the anniversaries of both artists, the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso's death, and the 40th anniversary of Joan Miró's.
Listen to our Filling the Sink podcast episode on Pablo Picasso's legacy 50 years on.
In total, there are 338 art pieces, out of which 116 are paintings distributed between the two museums. Some come from internationally renowned museums such as London's Tate Gallery, France's Lyon Musée des Beaux-Arts, New York's Museum of the Modern Art (MoMA), and Washington DC's National Art Gallery.
Miró-Picasso highlights some of the key moments of the artists' meetings, and also explores the different aspects of the artistic affinity between them.
Their proximity in the artistic surrealism movement, but also their political position during the Spanish Civil War and the dark years after World War II are also some of the elements visitors will get to see during the tour.
Despite their differences, Miró and Picasso shared a feeling of freedom and transgression that "pushed them to explore the limits of painting," a statement reads.
Listen to our Filling the Sink podcast episode on Joan Miró, the Catalan who painted the stars.
Show open until February
The show in Barcelona will be open until February 25, 2024 at both sites. Tickets to the joint exhibition cost €22 and are already on sale online.
The Picasso Museum opens for free the first Sunday of each month, and every Thursday from 5 pm.