Why Madrid? What does this new Fundación MAPFRE space in Madrid represent?
My grandfather, Joan Miró, was always very fond of this city and felt really at home here. Obviously, choosing an exhibition space for Joan Miró’s work is a critical decision. After analyzing various different options and with the consensus of the whole family, we felt that Fundación MAPFRE was the best option, with its history of exhibitions that has earned it international prestige.
Within the space, there is a notable presence of your grandfather’s relationship with Alexander Calder. They were on the same wavelength on the personal front too. Do you know any anecdote about that relationship?
For me, the Miró-Calder room is something unique and unrepeatable in the world, as it represents the intimate friendship between two 20th century geniuses – Calder, the king of wire figures, and Miró, the master of the brush. I know that when my grandfather, grandmother and mother arrived in New York for the first time in 1947 after World War II, Calder went to pick them up from the airport in a dilapidated convertible filled with wires, screws, tools, metal plates… and my grandfather was fascinated because they drove down Fifth Avenue in their journey toward Roxbury, to the north of New York City, where Calder’s studio was.
Do you recall anything that could give us a more human insight into the creative universe of Joan Miró?
The most beautiful memory I have of my grandfather is when, in 1978, I was able to accompany him to his studio in Mallorca, when he was 85 and I was 10. Suddenly, I came across this painting entitled Woman and I was fascinated when I saw the texture, color, light, the poetic quality and the shapes. I kept asking questions and his only response was silence and knowing looks, seeking a rapport between the old man and the child, between grandfather and grandson, and it was perhaps with those silences that I best understood my grandfather. It was the most beautiful, unrepeatable moment.
Mallorca plays a fundamental role in Miró’s imagery. Despite the recognition your grandfather earned in the major cities of 20th century art, such as Paris or New York, he always returned to his roots, to his origins.
Miró always returned to Mallorca because he needed to be close to his origins, to the essential, to the telluric energy, eat its food, drink its drinks, feel close to the universe, the light of the Mediterranean, close to the island where his mother was born, to the island where he married my grandmother. That’s where the power of his painting is drawn from.
What does it mean to be a Miró? How do you view your mission with regard to your grandfather’s legacy? Do you feel more like a guardian or a disseminator?
For me, bearing the Miró surname is an honor, a true privilege. I’ve always respected his legacy to the full and, obviously, I feel I’m both a guardian and disseminator of his work. Exhibitions are continuously held all around the world; different writers, different curators, different museum directors – from Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York to Tokyo, Kyoto or Moscow – who want to put on major exhibitions of his work. And my mission in life is simply to publicize his work, explain who my grandfather was and the great generosity he showed our country; how he wanted to help and collaborate in the birth and consolidation of what he called the new Spain following the death of Franco.