Over the past decade or so, admirers of Joan Miró, willing to make a little effort, have been encouraged to consider this fascinating artist’s work in many different ways. At intervals, during that time, volumes two through six of the ongoing catalogue raisonné of Miró’s paintings appeared, bracketing the years 1931 through 1981, and bringing us virtually to the end of his life as an artist. (Born in Barcelona in 1893, Miró died in Mallorca in 1983.) A catalogue raisonné of his sculpture was published. Exhibitions were organized internationally dealing with everything from his painted sculpture to his “linguistic nationalism”—whatever that may mean, in relation to the art of a Catalan speaker—and a good deal in between. The Phillips Collection examined the provocative relationship between Miró’s work and that of his friend Alexander Calder, who plainly learned a lot from his...


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