Some (big-M) Modern and (little-m) modern Art Work I just saw in Palm Springs….and what I am saying to engage my kids with the pieces. #2: Untitled Composition, Joan MirosteemCreated with Sketch.

in art •  2 years ago 

#2 Untitled Composition by Miro

Did you see my earlier piece about a recent visit to Palm Springs museum of art? If not, I invite you to go back and take a look. This is the second in a series highlighting how I talk to my kids about art that is not always readily accessible.

Next up is Untitled Composition by Joan Miro, 1970-1972. It is ink on paper.


Miro is an artist mostly known for his primary colored pieces. Most people will recognize this as a Miro work:

In the same "less is more" vein as the last post, I have picked a piece with fewer elements to discuss. I was drawn to a simpler work in the artist’s cannon, because it makes it easy to highlight the use of different lines, and continue the conversation about balance.

This is another piece which feels exceptionally well-balanced. The activity in the upper left corner is compensated by the figural element in the center and lower left. It is interesting to imagine the piece on it’s side and how it still feels equally weighted.

However, I want my kids to talk about line. This piece is not bunch of shapes, it is some brush strokes and some spattered ink. (There is probably some discussion about when does a thick, irregular brush stroke become a form, but we'll leave that for another day). Miro uses lines of varying weight, and his lines are not square. Why do the lines taper to a point? I suggest it is because Miro wants to suggestion movement. It gives the piece a sense of ugency. How does the Miro piece make you feel? I’m not sure - but I know it is not calm, gentle or lazy. Do you think this piece was painted fast or slow? Why did it take 2 years to complete? (That one is a mystery to me!)

At home, to expand on the concept we will makes some lines with a good brush and a pot of ink. I love art, but like the stuff in my house too much to allow india ink for the juvenile members. We will make fast and slow lines, tapered lines and blunt lines. Again, these will not be worth hanging on the wall, but will give the kids some visual vocabulary to work with.

Thanks for reading! I'll be posting 3 more of these simple critiques of pieces on display in Palm Springs. I hope it inspires you to talk a little art and make a little work.

BeriBeri Quite Contrary
Advocate for Natural Health Care for Babies
Parent of Free Range and Slightly Neglected Toddlers
Promoting Preschoolers and Hot Glue Guns
Encouraging Gambling Kindergarteners

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