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Signs and Configurations
The Spanish painter, ceramist, and sculptor Joan Miró was among the most prominent Surrealists, but he stood apart from any movement and developed a personal visual imagery. His works changed reality into a universe of signs and symbols that, despite his fascination for the bizarre and monstrous, still point to concrete parallels in the real world.
Miró's desire for innovation led him to many new combinations of materials and techniques. About 1933 he started experimenting with paintings on sandpaper. He restricted his palette to a few elementary colors and used abstracted forms and abbreviated signs for parts of the human body, developing only the head, the foot, and the eye...Miró's early paintings celebrated nature as a source of joy, but as the political situation in Europe worsened, his zest for life gradually changed to thoughts of suffering and death.
from Snite Museum of Art, Selected Works: Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, 2005)