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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

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Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
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Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Joan Miró
The Lightning Bird Blinded by Moonfire
Oil on cardboard
26 x 20 cm
© Successió Miró 2013
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 674 (1976.82)

More information about this work

As Tomàs Llorens recently pointed out, in most of the pictures Miró painted between 1944 and 1955 we find a figurative vocabulary derived from Les Constellations. These twenty-three gouaches on paper featuring a motley array of shapes, stars and circles, as if a magical constellation of the cosmos, served the painter as a sort of exorcism or escapism from the horrors of war.

The Lightning Bird Blinded by Moonfire, executed in 1955, is one of the paintings that are often associated with this series. In the composition various linear forms and patches of colour are connected with each other over a flat background with a surprising musicality and lyricism. The colours are applied without modulation and are very sharply outlined, while the coloured background has a nebulous, highly luminous appearance that causes the whole painting to seem to float in an ethereal space. The descriptive and poetic title enables us to identify some of the basic elements of the painting.

Paloma Alarcó

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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