Miró stated that he made no distinction between painting and poetry. Although his work seems "automatic," he carefully planned both his compositions and his poetic titles. In early 1940, the Miró family fled from Normandy to Spain, by way of Paris. It is possible that A Drop of Dew was one of the few works that Miró carried with him.
"At Varengeville-sur-Mer, in 1939, began a new stage in my work... It was about the time when the war broke out. I felt a deep desire to escape. I closed myself within myself purposely. The night, music, and the stars began to play a major role in suggesting my paintings." — Joan Miró
Joan Miró, a painter from Barcelona, moved to Paris in 1919 and undoubtedly met Man Ray through mutual friends. This portrait [of Man Ray] lends a mysterious Jekyll-and-Hyde air to the unassuming painter, with half of his face appearing normal and the other half distorted by shadow. A rope loops behind his head, introducing an element of Surrealist menace and ambiguity into the picture and suggesting the mobile quality of line in Miró's own art.
One of the defining characteristics ot the visual arts in the period of Modernism has been the retreat from mimesis or the realistic representation of the visible world and the human figure. Indeed, the influential critic Clement Greenberg regards abstraction as the essential feature of the Avant-Garde, which typically aspires to creating self-contained and self-referential art-objects that respect the qualities of their media and, in the case of painting, the flatness of the canvas. For Lyotard, abstraction in the visual arts marks the emergence of a new form of the sublime. Abstraction can take many different forms, ranging from expressionism to the geometricism of Malevich and Mondrian and the biomorphism of Joan Miro, who also uses the dream imagery of surrealism.
Like other artists and writers, Miro participated in more direct propagandizing for the Republican (anti-Franco) cause. A colorful pochoir poster he produced in 1937 to raise money for the Republicans shows a Catalan peasant raising a thick, defiant fist, and the slogan "Help Spain."
The rise of Fascism in the early 1930's inspired nightmare visions in the work of many European artists. Not the least of them was Joan Miro (1893-1983), who saw his native Spain savaged by the dictator Francisco Franco. In 1938, working in Paris, Miro produced a powerful series of eight small-scale etchings known as the "Black and Red Series," which responded -- as had Picasso's painting "Guernica" a year earlier -- to the agonies of the Civil War that put Franco in power.
Miro finds a new basis for life and means of continuation in the appreciation of spontaneity and the resources of his own emotion. Perhaps his work is fresh and unarming to the 20th century man because it is aimed at those who take themselves too seriously and who forget to feel the stars, the sun and the land the way Miro does. The fact that his form is organic and never completely abstract--that it is always a sign of something "a man, a bird or something else"--should give his art lasting value both because contemporary art is moving away from the more analytic and technical phases of modernism and because such form, combined with virtuosity of color, seems to be most humanly satisfying.
Like organic spongy life of the sea or the weird shapes that bubble and float before our half-closed eyes in bright sunlight, the forms of Joan Miro drift across his canvasses. For their simplicity, the crescents, spots and silhouettes have been called no form at all but only elements--embryos of form like "graffati that children scratch on walls" or that "prehistoric man engraved in caves."
Pierre Matisse, Miró’s long time New York dealer, once asked him to explain a work the dealer found elusive. The artist advised him to forget interpretations, whether from literature or theory. Work that can be explained successfully with such tools, he wrote, is “born dead, already rotting and destined to disappear in short order.” The best of Miró, and there is a great deal of it, remains very much alive. It has a fresh excitement as if it were just produced
Fortune often smiled on the artist Joan Miró (1893-1983). He had talent, imagination, wit and terrific contacts. On his first visit to Paris in 1919, the young painter left Barcelona with a “letter of introduction” to Pablo Picasso—a cake baked by his mother. What better to guarantee a warm welcome? The following year, when Miró settled in Paris, he had use of a studio that just happened to be next to the charismatic Surrealist André Masson’s. Masson seemed to know everyone and generously included his neighbour in his circle. In those days Miró was often so broke he lived on radishes, but in other ways he was blessed.