Monday, February 22, 2010

Mirό of Majorca

The exhibition Mirό of Majorca was hosted from the 9th of June 2009 till the 7th of February 2010 at the Teloglion Foundation of Art in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is now moving to Athens, where it will be exhibited at the Hellenic Cosmos "Theatron", Ismini Hall, from today, February 22nd, till the 30th of May 2010.

I went to see this show while it was still here in Thessaloniki. I was surprised by the bad design of the exhibition itself. I did not expect to see, in 2010, in a renowned Art Foundation of our country, such a significant artist exhibited in such an elementary way.His works were simply put on display grouped in periods, without text to accompany them showing what each period meant to the artist and connecting it to contemporary art and history.

The signs with the information for each work of art were placed on the ground, making every visitor taller than 1,50m (i.e. most of us) struggle to read it. The fact that they were made of transparent plexiglass did not help of course.

The lighting was bad, non descript. The sculptures suffered particularly of this, arranged in the middle of the biggest room and simply spot lighted without any thought of how the shadows would play both on the sculpture and around it.

A series of works were about sketches and drawings the artist made about various large scale works, either paintings or sculpture, prominently displayed in various parts of the world, most of them orders by municipalities, countries, rich individuals, companies. What struck me is that not a single photograph of the finished art was displayed, for any of the above.

There was a room dedicated to the work Miro did inspired by the theatre play Roi Yby. They had a single opportunity to make a very theatrical room to inspire and guide people to why he was so connected to this piece of theatre. They missed. The show also missed how his art influenced and came to represent the national identity of Spain.

A very positive aspect of the show was the exhibition of special copies of some of the paintings made for blind people - I had never seen that in a major show in Greece and was pleasantly surprised. And another interesting set up was the exhibition of some artefacts, small furniture and stuff from his studio, on a stage with a panoramic photo of the actual place as a background - but then again, it remained a plain and simple display of objects, not engaging the visitor in any way.

The graphic design of the exhibition's brochure and posters were excellent: they were done by Rooster Design, a great and much lauded graphic design studio from Thessaloniki. The exhibition is organized by Teloglion Art Foundation in cooperation with the Pilar i Joan Miro Foundation of Majorka - all of the artwork comes from there. 

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