The portfolio Les Essències de la Terra is comprised of fourteen lithographs by Joan Miró with text by Juan Perucho printed in an edition 1120. Within the edition of 1120, a deluxe edition of 100 copies were accompanied by a suite of nine works — one color lithograph and eight unique variations each embellished by the hand of the artist. The following eight works are part of this special suite, lot 100 being the color lithograph followed by seven unique variations.
This work is from the collection of Dr. Herbert M. Katzin, an ophthalmologist and pioneer in corneal transplant surgery and eye bank research. He was associated with the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, where he served at various times as director of research for the eye bank, director of the corneal clinic, president of the medical board and chairman of the department of ophthalmology. Dr. Katzin was co-author of the Atlas of Eye Surgery (McGraw-Hill, 1957 and 1962) and the Rehabilitation of a Child's Eyes (Mosby, 1961), among other books. In 1981, he traveled to China to teach surgeons the techniques he developed. The trip became the subject of a documentary film, China Eye.
Joan Miró 1893–1983
Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1893. Although his parents wanted their son to be a businessman, Miró was drawn to art, and so he studied painting at Francesc Galí’s Escola d’Art in Barcelona from 1912 to 1915. In 1920, Miró moved to Paris where he was quickly caught up in the fiercely cultural atmosphere. He struck up a friendship with fellow expat Pablo Picasso, who took Miró under his wing and introduced him to many of the artists and writers living in the city. Miró soon became friends with Ernest Hemmingway, who bought his masterpiece The Farm in 1921. Famed surrealist poet Andre Breton and Miró met in 1924 and Breton felt that Miró’s artwork “was the most surrealist of all.”
Despite his association with the Surrealist movement, Miró’s painting process was far from unconscious; rather, his work resulted from a precise methodology. Combining the formal elements of cubism with biomorphic forms, Miró created works that referenced his home country of Spain through abstraction. After the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, his work began to display sharply political messages. His mural, The Reaper, condemned Franco's regime and was shown at the Spanish Pavilion in the World’s Fair of 1937 in Paris. In 1939 when the Nazis arrived in Paris, Miró was forced to flee to the South of France. The first retrospective of Miró’s work in the United States was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941. In 1958, Miró was commissioned to make two significant murals for UNESCO in Paris, for which he received the Guggenheim International Award. Inspired by the Paris student riots of 1968, Miró began to create bombastic paintings in which he would fling paint onto the canvas. During the 1970s, he became intrigued with the process of bookmaking, and he created over 250 illustrated artist’s books. Miró died in 1983, but he left behind a influential legacy and is one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century.
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