Fundação de Serralves opened Joan Miró’s exhibition : Signs and Symbols, on Friday`s evening, at the renewed Casa de Serralves, whose renovation works, conducted by Álvaro Siza Vieira, were funded by Porto council. Among the first visitors were Prime -Minister, António Costa, Mayor, Rui Moreira, and Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca. Miró’s collection includes 85 works of the Catalan artist and is deposited in Fundação de Serralves resulting of a protocol with Porto City Hall.
Property of the Portuguese State and granted to Porto Council for 25 years, Miró’s collection embraces six decades of Joan Miró’s work, from 1924 until 1987, among paintings, sculptures, collage, drawings and tapestries, composing an excellent sample of his work, also revealing of its complexity and major artistic concerns of the author.
At the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister recalled that the choice of Porto as loyal trustee of Miró’s Collection was due to the fact of Porto being a “global city”, capable of exhibiting the work of the Catalan Artist. “I am pleased that it had arrived at safe harbour and from this Porto to the world of new discoveries”, he emphasised.
“We have chosen Porto because we understand it was essential that an asset of this sort had to be in the hands of a city that, by its dynamic, its history and by the strategy it had on its development and its internationalization could value a collection of this nature, unlike other cities would”, stated António Costa, in a ceremony that had the presence of Ana Pinho, president of the board of directors of Fundação de Serralves.
Also, Rui Moreira recalled that history “looked easy”, but it was only well succeeded after the setback of the Portuguese State intents. Addressing António Costa, the Mayor pointed out that didn’t forget “who believed in the importance of keeping Miró’s collection in the country and kept at the city, thanking the phone call from the Prime Minister to give him the good news, shortly after being elected.
The exhibition, now opened – Joan Miró: Signs and Symbols, brings to light the entire collection acquired by Portugal and arises in the sequence of the conclusion of the renovation works project and adjustment of the emblematic Casa Rosa de Serralves. The project was undertaken by Siza Vieira, the first Portuguese Pritzer Award, with the support of Porto City Hall concerning the investment, according to the protocol that defines the deposit conditions of the Miró’s Collection in Serralves.
In particular, the Deposit and Promotion Cultural Protocol, established between Porto City Hall and Fundação de Serralves establishes that for two and a half decades, Serralves is responsible for the collection. That in its turn, assumes the compromise of cultural disclosure and value the artwork of the famous Catalan master.
On the other hand, the document states, that the council “will bear, at its own expense and up to the maximum amount of one million euros, plus VAT, all the expansion work, renovation or preservation necessary”. The renovation works of Casa de Serralves were performed according to these guidelines.
In the protocol, Porto city hall compromises as well to a yearly payment of 100 thousand euros to Fundação Serralves, for 25 years, so the collection be protected and promoted both national and internationally.
Exhibition enhances the aesthetic side of Miró Collection
Joan Miró exhibition doesn’t follow a linear format and who expects a chronological plot will be misled. Quoted by Lusa, Robert Lubar Messeri , curator of the expositive work, stated “My standard for this extraordinary collection was the aesthetics – I wanted it to be the most beautiful as possible”.
In this regard, the works were aggregated by themes, such as “fascism and the Spanish Civil War”, where “we can feel the anger in the paintings”, but also considering the “development of Miró’s sign language, the wild paintings, the social protest, the figure’s treatment and metamorphosis”, noted the exhibition’s curator.
Among the peculiarities of the exhibition, that opens to the public this Saturday and can be visited until March 2022, highlight for the transposition of the conservation work, common at any museum backstage, to the frontline.
Joan Miró (1893—1983) was one of the greatest “forms creator” of the XX Century, challenging the traditional boundaries of the whatever he worked on. In his art, the different practices talk among themselves, intersecting the means: painting communicates with the drawing; sculpture seduces the threaded objects; and the collages, combinations of different entities, work as a major principle or matrix to the exploration of the depths of what is real.
The collection originating from former Banco Português de Negócios (former BPN) was to be alienated by the Portuguese State.
It was qualified, in 2020, as national interest, in a dispatch that acknowledged its reasoning, as a manifestation of artistic production of Joan Miró.