Constellations by Joan Miró

In 1939 the Catalan surrealist painter Joan Miró (1893-1983) escaped Paris for Varengeville-sur-Mer in Normandy, and it was here where he created a new body of work – a series of twenty-three gouaches, which became known as ‘Constellations’

The series, characterized by the shapes of stars, bird and women are amongst the artist’s most intricately constructed works, exploring Miró’s view on the interdependence of the great and small as a network that holds the world in balance, and his innate understanding of the multifaceted levels of existence spiralling out from planet earth to infinity. 

The exposed ideas are linked to the transformative processes located within the natural world – the regeneration of butterfly hoards, the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of tides, and the tracks of constellations and galaxies. The mysteries of the universe provide a challenge that has preoccupied artists and scientists through time, in their search to find meaning in the ubiquitous presence of the intangible. 

In 1958, the surrealist poet André Breton created his own version of ‘Constellations’, twenty-two hermetic poems, meant to accompany Miró's work.

I have half the woman, but I can’t decide if the lower or upper suits me best. Nothing is resonating way off in the follies, stations, hotels. In the Milky Way a profuse protoplasmic life prunes, to sigh height, a germinating almond. A dunnock’s nest is left over from the day’s sight.” André Breton, from ‘Woman In The Night’, Constellations of Miró.