2/02/2016

Inside the studio of Joan Miró

As a reproduction of Joan Miró’s studio goes on show in London, his grandson gives Alastair Sooke a tour of the real thing.

“It is something I will never forget,” says Joan Punyet Miró, standing on the threshold of the Majorcan studio where his grandfather, the acclaimed Spanish artist Joan Miró, worked from the late ‘50s almost until his death in 1983. “It was 20 April 1978: my grandfather’s 85th birthday. I was 10 years old. He clapped his hands and said, ‘Joan, today we will walk down to my studio.’”

Even though Joan Punyet had grown up nearby in Palma, the island’s capital, and usually visited his grandfather twice a week, this was the first time that he had been allowed inside the eye-catching atelier designed by Miró’s friend, the Spanish architect Josep Lluis Sert.

Few people were invited into this fantastical building overlooking the Mediterranean, with its distinctive, undulating white roof like a pair of seagull wings, and shutters of bright blue, yellow and red, recalling paintings by the artist.

The interior, dominated by a primitive-looking wall of rough-hewn boulders, yet awash with beautiful light, was a sanctuary where the artist could summon his phantasmagorical art in peace. Although Miró was a fan of music, he insisted on silence while he worked – and he certainly did not encourage his grandchildren to play in his vicinity when he was painting....more