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Joan Miró

/Works and biography

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Seated Woman II (Femme assise II), February 27, 1939
Oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 93
© Successió Miró, by SIAE 2008


The expressionistic Seated Woman II can be seen as a final manifestation of Joan Miró’s ''peintures sauvages'', works characterized by violence of execution and imagery. It was painted at a time when Miró was responding acutely to the events of the Spanish Civil War. The human figure has been transmogrified here into a grotesque and bestial creature. However, the aggressiveness of imagery and formal elements coexists with fanciful details and cosmic implications. Though the open, saw-toothed mouth imparts a sense of the woman’s voraciousness or anguish, her bottle-breast implies her generative force. Her expansive torso constitutes an impenetrable ground, its horizon line described by her squared shoulders, out of which grow the vegetative stems of arms and neck. The bird and fish forms floating through the atmosphere become insignias for air and water, while the moon, star, and planet emblems on the woman’s collar broaden the associations to encompass the astral plane. A cohesive universe is created and integration is provided by the repetition of shapes.

credits: Hangar Design Group