Joan Miró is one of the most important and influential artist of the XX century. He was one of the member of the XX century avant-gardes. He had Picasso and Hemingway among his friends and he met the Surrealists and even signed the Surrealist Manifesto. He was a complete artist, painter, sculptor and ceramicist in constant search for breaking the rules of art, expressing himself through simple colors, basic forms and recurring everyday objects which created a world of symbolism.
Some of his works are the highlights of Museums like Pompidou in Paris or MOMA in New York and he was commissioned to create mural mosaics for UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the Harvard University or the Conventions Center in Madrid.
But he was a Catalan very fond of his land and it is in Barcelona where most of his works are exhibited. He presented the city with The Fundació Joan Miró, a museum where his largest collection can be visited and a contemporary art centre of key importance. Miró also donated the city three of his most important works which can be easily found for anyone who visits Barcelona and that were created by the artist with the intention to welcome people arriving in the Catalan capital by land, sea and air.
On the façade of the Terminal 2, the only airport terminal at the time the mural was completed, Miró created a mural made of ceramic pieces. The mural is 9 meters long and 5 meters wide and it can be seen today exactly the same as it looked like in 1970. It’s a colored piece of art that has the unmistakable Miró’s symbolic style.
The last public work of Miró, Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird) is a sculpture 22 meters high which stands in very visible side of Parc de l’Escorxador, near Plaça España, one of the main entrances to the city by land. Miró depicted a woman and a bird in his style that evokes rather than portrays and he used the mosaic technique typical of Catalan Modernism and Gaudí.
Yes, in the middle of La Rambla, the most busy and walked on street in Barcelona, Miró wanted to welcome the visitors arriving from the sea with a mosaic on the floor, in front of Boqueria Market and very close to the street where he was born. We can bet that 99% of tourists in Barcelona have stepped on this mosaic but, how may of them realized they were walking on an major artwork from one of the most important artists of the last century?
But Miró’s work is also present all throughout the city in a way that he wouldn’t have imagined (and we are not sure if he would have liked it): the logo of the most important Bank in Catalonia was designed by Miró himself. Well, when asked by the company to design the logo, he agreed to create a mural from which one of its elements could be used as the Bank’s logo.
This is how the star of La Caixa was born, the Catalan symbol of the financial world.