Look at this glorious ceramic sculpture by Miró and Artigas in Barcelona. I love the juxtaposition of this very modern piece of sculpture against the classical pillars of the very traditional space in which it is housed. The Europeans successfully mix different eras with great abandon and style.
Miró is well known. Artigas less so. Joseph Llorens Artigas was born in 1892 in Barcelona and he became a potter and ceramicist. Following a friendship in Paris and Barcelona Artigas and Miró began their long collaboration on ceramic vases toward the end of WWII. According to the Guggenheim Museum, “In 1953 they renewed their partnership in Artigas’s small isolated studio approximately 20 miles outside Barcelona in the mountainous village of Gallifa. In recognition of this integrated and collective effort between potter and painter, their ceramic works were signed by both artists. Artigas’s firing techniques reproduced the slow firing process and wood-burning kilns of the ancient Greeks. According to Artigas, the fire, smoke, and earthen clay preserved the elemental integrity of the ceramics, which Miró named terres de grand feu (firestones) for their joint 1956 exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York. In 1957 Artigas and Miró accepted their first ceramic mural commission for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, which won them the Guggenheim International Award the following year. Artigas continued to work with Miró through the 1970s until his health required his son Joan Gardy Artigas to take over the studio. Artigas died on December 11, 1980, in Barcelona.”