Born in 1893, Joan Miró grew up in Barri Gòtic, Barcelona. He studied business as well as art, taking a job as a clerk for two years until he suffered a mental and physical breakdown. After time recuperating, he decided to leave the business world to attend Francesc Galí’s Escola d’Art. His first solo show at the Dalmau Gallery in 1918 was not well received, but he persisted, experimenting with new Fauvist and Cubist techniques.
In 1920 Miró visited Paris where he met Picasso, and from that moment on divided his time living between France and Spain. He became involved with the Dadaists and Surrealists, and by 1930 had developed a unique style, in which he used colour and form symbolically. The blackouts of World War II in 1939 prompted the creation of his Constellations, a series focused around abstract elements and the recurring motifs of moons, birds and eyes. The New York MoMA held two important retrospectives of his work in the 1950s, and he continued to achieve international recognition, also working in sculpture, ceramic and print.
Miró died in December 1983, in Spain