The Policeman

Abstract shapes compose a mustached man and rearing horse against brown background.
© 2018 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • Abstract shapes compose a mustached man and rearing horse against brown background.

Date:

1925

Artist:

Joan Miró
Spanish, 1893–1983

About this artwork

Soon after Joan Miró moved to Paris from his native Barcelona in 1920, he met a group of avant-garde painters and writers who advocated merging the everyday rational world with that of dreams and the unconscious in order to produce an absolute reality, or surreality. To release images of this higher realm, the Surrealists embraced automatism, a spontaneous working method much like free association. Miró experimented with automatism: “Even a few casual wipes in cleaning my brush,” he said, “may suggest the beginning of a picture.” Between 1925 and 1927, his experiments unleashed a revolutionary series of works called the “dream paintings,” which straddle abstraction and representation in freely moving, calligraphic compositions. In The Policeman, a large canvas from this group, two biomorphic shapes spring to life as a policeman and a horse, their forms defined by thinly applied white paint against a neutral ocher ground. The form on the left has sprouted five buds that act as fingers, and both forms extrude curves that suggest torsos or mouths. With graffiti-like dots and squiggles added to their heads to make eyes and a mustache, Miró’s shapes come to life in a liquid space as animated equivalents of a policeman and his horse.

On View

Modern Art, Gallery 398

Artist

Joan Miró

Title

The Policeman

Origin

Spain

Date

1925

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

signed and dated lower left: Miró./1925. signed and dated on verso: Joan Miró./1925.

Dimensions

248 × 194.9 cm (97 5/8 × 76 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Claire Zeisler

Reference Number

1991.1499

Copyright

© 2018 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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