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Joan Miró Ferra was born April 20, 1893, in Barcelona. At the age of 14, he went to business school in Barcelona and also attended La Lonja, the academy of fine arts, in the same city. Upon completing three years of art studies, he took a position as a clerk. After suffering a nervous breakdown, he abandoned business and resumed his art studies, attending Francesc Galí’s Escola d’Art in Barcelona from 1912 to 1915. In 1917, he met Francis Picabia and the following year, the dealer José Dalmau gave him his first solo show at his gallery in Barcellona.
In 1920, Miró made his first trip to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso. From this time, Miró divided his time between Paris and Montroig, Spain. In Paris, he associated with the poets Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, and Tristan Tzara and participated in Dada activities. Dalmau organized Miró’s first solo show in Paris, at the Galerie la Licorne in 1921. His work was included in the Salon d’Automne of 1923. In 1924, Miró joined the Surrealist group. His solo show at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, in 1925 was a major Surrealist event; Miró was included in the first Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Pierre that same year. He visited the Netherlands in 1928 and began a series of paintings inspired by Dutch masters. This year he also executed his first papiers collés and collages. In 1929, he started his experiments in lithography, and his first etchings date from 1933. During the early 1930s, he made Surrealist sculptures incorporating painted stones and found objects. In 1936, Miró left Spain because of the civil war; he returned in 1941.
Miró’s first major museum retrospective was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1941. That year, Miró began working in ceramics with Josep Lloréns y Artigas and started to concentrate on prints; from 1954 to 1958, he worked almost exclusively in these two mediums. In 1958, Miró was given a Guggenheim International Award for murals for the UNESCO building in Paris. The following year, he resumed painting, initiating a series of mural-sized canvases. During the 1960s, he began to work intensively in sculpture. Miró retrospective took place at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1974. In 1978, the Musée National d’Art Moderne exhibited over 500 works in a major retrospective of his drawings. Miró died December 25, 1983, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.