Born in Barcelona, Spain, Miró studied art at the School of Fine Arts at La Llotja and Gali’s Escola d’Art.
During a convalescence from a serious illness in 1911, Miró found that painting was the key to his mental and emotional as well as physical well-being. Upon his recovery, he devoted himself to his art, eventually moving to Paris in 1919 where he came into contact with Cubism and Surrealism. In 1920, he met André Masson and Max Ernst, who encouraged his study of psychic automatism, an expression of the subconscious in freeform writing.
Inspired by psychic automatism, he began creating vibrant canvases which incorporated alien worlds inhabited by whimsical creatures. This signature style was marked by bright, colorful, amorphous forms which seemed to float across the canvas along spirited lines. While frequently identified with the Surrealist movement, Miró never fully accepted the movement’s creed and refused to sign the Surrealist Manifesto.
Throughout his life, Miró felt a deep connection to his Catalan heritage and much of the symbolism that is so prevalent in his work is derived from this culture. In 1940, Miró returned to Spain and began to explore new media including large scale sculpture, ceramics, murals and tapestries. Following his first retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1941, Miró achieved international acclaim and was recognized as a pioneer of Modernism.