An original aquatint and carborundum, printed in colors on Mandeure rag paper and hand-signed on the lower right “Miró.” This is one of the small number of proofs that were printed above and beyond the numbered edition of 75, that were reserved for the artist and his collaborators. The carborundums are the most coveted and collectable of Miró's graphic oeuvre. In 1970, the Museum of Modern Art in New York devoted a special exhibition to the artist’s carborundum prints.Franco-American artist Henri Goetz developed a relief process (actually a variant of collagraphy) using silicone carbide (which later came to be known as carborundum) to give a more dramatic texture to intaglios. According to Goetz his method consisted of, “setting very high-pressure-resistant substances, such as silicon carbide, synthetic varnish, or both, on the plate surface. The interstices between the silicon carbide grains and the streaks in the varnish replace the holes or grooves in the metal itself in the more classical methods. These interstices, which hold the printing ink, give it back to the moist paper, under press, to create a print.”In 1967 Goetz met Joan Miró through printer Robert Dutrou. Although Miró was 74 years old, he embraced the new process with the same fervor that characterized his youth. As the artist himself said, “I am neither a printmaker nor a painter, but someone who tries to express himself with all of the means he has available.” During the 1960s, Miró had begun to paint large format canvases and to create large-format prints. Carborundum provided Miró with a vigorous material and allowed him a rapid, powerful stroke which enabled him to work large prints with greater richness and freedom. Because carborundum combines well with intaglio printmaking, it is especially useful in giving greater plastic richness to forms. Miró said of the medium, "I can express myself without obstacles, with a single impulse of the spirit, without feeling paralized or slowed down by an outdated technique that could deform the free expression, the purity and the freshness of the final result."
This work is part of a carefully curated selection by noted fine art expert Jennifer McCloskey, who was formerly affiliated with Doyle Gallery in New York and is now based in San Francisco. If you have questions about any of the works in this selection, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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