«For me, engraving is a medium of expression –Miró told me. It has been a medium of liberation, expansion, and discovery. Although in the beginning, I was a prisoner of its limitations, its formulas, its tools and recipes which were too dependent on tradition. I had to resist and overcome them, and subsequently, an immense range of possibilities was revealed to my vision and hands... I could use a punch or a chisel, but also a finger, a hand, a nail, or an old screwdriver. I was equally able to liberate myself from the most commonly used paper and print the proofs on the most unexpected types of paper.»
(Quot ed by Jacques Dupin in the prologue of Miró grabador I, Barcelona, Polígrafa, 1987, pg. 7.)
Joan Miró and Printmaking
Joan Miró’s interest in printmaking can be attributed to his continual search for new ways of developing his artistic interests, together with the satisfaction that he derived from experimentation with materials of the most diverse kinds. Thanks to these mediums, his work became more widely known, reaching a more extensive audience. Moving from the concept of a single unique work to multiple creations would become an excellent creative resource for the artist.
Miró first started to explore printmaking as a result of his relationship and friendship with the circle of poets and writers that he met in Paris through André Masson in around 1925. Although he created various illustrations for books by authors like Paul Eluard, J. V. Foix, or Tristan Tzara, among others, his greatest dedication to this field and most numerous work did not take place until the seventies. During the said years, he created thousands of prints and over one hundred illustrated books. This was the stage when he became genuinely skilled in this field by collaborating with leading engravers who actively participated in the creation of his work. It was a system based on teamwork, where an interchange of suggestions and experiences and a sense of comradeship between the master printers and the artist all formed an essential part of the final outcome.
Joan Miró worked in collaboration with others on his creations in the workshops of leading engravers, like Lacourière’s workshops; Atelier Cromerlink et Doutrou; the engraver Fernand Mourlot in Paris; William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in New York; Joan Barbarà’s Workshop 46, and the Barcelona Lithographic Art Workshop founded by Damià Caus. This symbiosis between the artist and skilled experts was equally important in other fields like ceramics, where he worked with his friend the ceramicist Josep Llorenç Artigas and his son Joan Gardy Artigas.
What are they?
The Joan Miró’s printmaking workshops are the artistic legacy to young creators. They are located at Son Boter, an 18th century Mallorcan country house and one of the three buildings that comprise the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró. Son Boter stands close by the family home and the studio built by Josep Lluís Sert, initially used as a painting and sculpture studio. In the late sixties, the artist refurbished some new outbuildings at Son Boter, setting up a lithographic workshop and another engraving workshop for his own personal use.
Most of Miró’s 1970s prints were made in these workshops, including series like Suite Gaudí and Els gossos, together with artist’s books as fascinating as Lapidari, and lithographs for the exhibition at the Llotja in Palma or for the Obra Cultural Balear. These projects were brought to fruition thanks to the collaboration of specialists in engraving, like Joan Barbarà, and the lithographer, Damià Caus.
The artist donated his workshops to the city of Palma in 1981, in a bid to keep the spirit of creativity and transgression alive after his death. In this way the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró was founded, embarking on a new stage in 1992 with the inclusion of a new building designed by Rafael Moneo to act as the Foundation headquarters. In order to make the most of the workshops and to adapt them to present-day needs, in 1994, their equipment and materials were updated so that courses could be given and editions printed using state-ofthe-art printmaking techniques.
The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró’s still conserve the lithographic and engraving workshops that were used by the artist to create his printed series and artist’s books and they also evoke that same atmosphere that inspired him. Subsequently, facilities were added for silkscreen printing, ceramics, photography and digital printing.
What do they offer?
Each year, since 1994, the Foundation has organized different introductory courses, experimental workshops, limited editions and special projects.
Experts as prestigious as Joan Barbarà, the artist and engraver who collaborated with Joan Miró, Joan Gardy Artigas, who worked with Miró in the field of ceramics, and a long list of other artists like Wolf Vostell, Joan Fontcuberta, Jaume Plensa, Jesús Pastor, Joan Cruspinera, Toni Catany, Fernando Bellver, Clemente Bernad, Daniel Canogar, Oscar Molina, José Ramón Alcalá, Rafael Navarro, Concha Jerez, Don Herbert, Ana Soler, Cecilia Segura, Eloi Puig, Mastaka Kuroyanagi, Wayne Crothers, Montse Carreño and Javier Vallhonrat have given workshops or created printmaking projects in Joan Miró’s workshops.
At an institutional level, courses, workshops and conferences have been held in collaboration with different centres both in Spain and abroad, such as Arteleku, the Havana Centro Experimental de Gráfica, Edinburgh Printmakers’ Workshop, Molí Paperer de Capellades, Barcelona University Faculty of Fine Arts, Frans Massereel Centre in Belgium, Slade School of Fine Arts in London, Casa Velázquez in Madrid, or Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. Similarly information exchanges and posts as artists in residence have been fostered.
Thanks to the widespread international dissemination of the Pilar Juncosa Grants & Awards, young artists from all over the world meet in our workshops, and stays and experiences abroad are fostered. These awards include the Biennial Pilar Juncosa Award, different annual art training grants at centres in Spain or abroad, and participation in the Foundation’s different courses and workshops. In conjunction with Spanish institutions associated with the field of printmaking, like the Calcografía Nacional or Casa de la Moneda, the Foundation collaborates each year in the Young Artists’ Graphic Art Competition.
We aspire to foster links between artists and the world of contemporary art, taking advantage of all the resources generated by society in order to help them find the tool that best suits their own personal artistic language. In recent years, the Foundation has opened its engraving, lithography, silkscreen, ceramics and digital printing workshops to young artists wishing to carry out projects on their own. The workshops are equipped with the necessary apparatus and machinery for work on roofs, prints or edited series. There are set rental fees and a reservation process, and the Foundation’s technical staff is on hand to explain how to use and take full advantage of these areas.
The underlying goal behind ongoing efforts over the years is to achieve a balance between memory and innovation; that is, to inspire a respect for traditional printmaking combined with a strong desire for contemporary innovation, as typified by Joan Miró’s creative work. The work of the Foundation’s workshops was acknowledged in 2001 when they were singled out to receive the Spanish Printmaking Award by the Calcografía Nacional. In addition to its workshops, the Foundation also contains exhibition rooms for its permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and work produced in the workshops, an auditorium and a library specializing in contemporary art.
For further information, see our website:
For more information, please contact:
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca. Printmaking workshops. Saridakis 29, 07015 Palma, Mallorca. Illes Balears, Spain.
Bus: 3 - 46
Central tel.: +34 971 70 14 20 workshops tel.: +34 971 70 02 06 Fax 34 971 70 21 02 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TALLERS OBRA GRÀFICA JOAN MIRÓ / JOAN MIRÓ'S PRINTMAKING WORKSHOPS