Joaquim Mir: artistic journey of an inexhaustible genius (Part I) Paintings 03/04/2024

Few painters who have dedicated themselves basically to one subject primordial -the landscape in this case - they have had such a varied work, original and differentiated as Joaquim Mir (Barcelona, 1873-1940). Seeing your landscape, with relative ease We can recognize which period of his long artistic career corresponds. Furthermore, we always find his personal stamp, his strength, his infinite skills with color, his intuitive compositions, his varied formats and their agile framing. We can meet before a painting of his with greater or lesser contributions...but they always tell us something, they never disappoint. Other top-level Catalan landscapers, such as Lluís Rigalt, Ramón Martí i Alsina, Eliseu Meifrén, Modest Urgell, Enric Serra either Joaquim Vayreda, to name a few, have very interesting productions with marked evolution in some cases, but in no case can delimit so many different periods and such marked variations. Mir He was not an intellectual, nor did he travel to paint more there from Catalonia (up to Mallorca, Andorra or Valencia as a lot), but it had a capacity and a innate plastic sensitivity that he modeled over the years. He went to Madrid to admire the great masters of Prado Museum in 1899 and that same year he won the second prize in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts, but he never made the traditional trips to Paris or Rome. His pantheism, his excessive love for nature and painting, They took him, ironically but very accurately said Josep Pla “to paint nature because he couldn't eat it.”

These virtues and this originality of Mir's work have made it highly valued by Spanish collectors, but it is a question to analyze that it does not have the projection world that it deserves. Encompassing his career in what we could consider a advanced post-impressionism, could be perfectly placed alongside many international painters of the 20th century. His works are an exquisite and living example of what he had. around and their trips, their stays and their places of residence through the Crown of Aragon They were infinite stimuli for his painting and drawings. I didn't invent nothing, everything started from reality, it was a small garden or whether it was a large territory, any reason was good to stimulate his creativity and the mix of strength of color, agility of the brushstroke and visual interest of the frame…and he always knew how to get He made good use of what was around him, achieving unusual plastic results.

By Balclis Mir's works of all kinds have been shown, from large-format oil paintings, to small notes quickly smudged to pencil drawings or pastel or even small engravings. We believe that it may be interesting to share some of the many pieces that have passed through our hands, both for the aesthetic pleasure of contemplating them, and for the fact of being able to place them in their trajectory, giving rise to getting closer like this to its evolution. Reinforcing what we mentioned before the plastic variations of its various periods, it is symptomatic that we can see it in a selection of a thirty pieces that have been entrusted to us over the last 18 years. we think It is also of greatest interest to be able to enjoy works which for the most part have passed from the hands of individuals to others and that his exhibition in Balclis for a brief time, now allows us to share them. In approximate chronological order, we offer you the photographs and some comments that allow us to highlight some aspects in each case.

From "Marina with shellfish harvesters" to "Sa Calobra"

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir marina con mariscadoras
Joaquim Mir. Marina with shellfish harvesters. Oil on canvas. Around 1890. Balclis, October 2021.

An example of Mir's innate ability, this navy painted around the age of 17 reflects his skill in capturing the realism of a scene and, above all, in transmitting the sensation of atmosphere and depth, in a space where there is no geometric reference points or lines of flight appear in perspective. The fact that he created a landscape like this one, in the melancholic style of the already successful landscape painter Eliseu Meifrén, also tells us about Mir's desire to enter the artistic circuit.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir paisaje de Olot con niñas y ocas
Joaquim Mir. Olot landscape with girls and geese. Oil on canvas. Around 1895. Balclis, October 2021.

Another example of his formative stage, when his art was still to be defined, is this landscape, also with a dreamy atmosphere, and which in this case reminds us of the humid and green landscapes of the Olot School and particularly Joaquim Vayreda. The last shot, with a distant effect, contrasts with the foreground, with a nearby tree, the girls and the birds. Curiously, throughout his career the artist demonstrated: a great love for geese, which often appear in his paintings. He went to Madrid to admire the great masters of the Prado Museum in 1899 and that same year he won. second prize at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir cala sant vicenç
Joquim Mir. Cala Sant Vicenç. Oil on canvas. 1900. Balclis, May 2014.

Santiago Rusiñol and Joaquín Mir spent the turn of the century between the 19th and the 20th in Mallorca. Although it might seem the opposite, instead of being the already mature Rusiñol that influenced the In the young Mir, it was rather the other way around, and the landscapes of the former, continuing with his own style, gained in chromatic strength. Since the end of the 19th century, Mir was the most representative artist of the Colla del Safrà, a group of painters like this. known for using a yellow-orange color very close to saffron. From then on, the painter would eliminate black from his palette and opt for striking colors, harmonized and contrasted in a very personal way. At the same time, the brushstrokes became looser and the thicknesses and textures of the oil painting gained richness. Mir was left seduced by the spectacular nature of the northern Mallorcan coast and particularly Cala Sant Vicenç made various views that highlighted the grandeur of the place. The elevated view that we can appreciate and the luminous effect of the light colors are testimony to the ignited passion that the Balearic landscape awakened. in the artist.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir paisaje de la Sierra de Tramontana en Mallorca
Joaquim Mir. Landscape of the Sierra de Tramontana in Mallorca. Oil on canvas. Balclis, December 2012.

Until 1904 he was in Mallorca painting freely and without any type of ties or restrictions. The black color disappeared of his canvases and the tones became extreme, fleeing from a possible fidelity to the colors of nature and creating his own visions, which are presented to us as authentic festivals of stains and colors. It was particularly in the Sierra de Tramontana where he would find his greatest reasons for inspiration, practically reaching aesthetic ecstasy.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir tronco seco de olivo en Mallorca
Joaquim Mir. Dry olive tree trunk in Mallorca. Oil on canvas. 1900. Balclis, March 2024

It is also surprising to see how Mir's creative wealth has no limits and in the same period he can experiment with different plastic resources. In this case he owed seduced the sculptural and sinuous design of the dry olive trunk and turned it into a in protagonist. With which it went from a broad and general landscape to very close details as we see in this case, always extracting attractive visual elements. here He reduced the chromatic clash to move on to colder tones, but served with brushstrokes that were apparently suspended and extremely fluid. Another resource that Joaquim Mir experimented with more and more was painting in unusual formats. If the characteristic format of a landscape painting was the horizontal landscape painting or, in the case of a seascape, even more landscape painting, our painter made a large number of square or almost square works, thus forcing another type of more unusual frames, as we can see in these last three paintings.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir olivos en Mallorca
Joaquim Mir. Olive trees in Mallorca. Oil on canvas. 1900. Balclis, May 2006

In this work, again with olive trees and again with the Sierra de Tramuntana in the background, we see another very original treatment of the surfaces. The spots appear more independent and the colors are boldly contrasted between warm and cold. We could consider the effect practically “fauvist”, because the colors do not correspond to those of reality (the red mountain is surprising!). But we can say that Mir goes even further in paintings like this one, because he is almost bordering on abstraction. Elements such as the rhythmic trees in the foreground are almost essential, so that the viewer can have a certain anchor in reality.

subastas arte balclis joaquim mir Sa Calobra
Joaquim Mir. Sa Calobra. Oil on canvas. 1900. Balclis, May 2010

The surprising landscape of the Torrent de Pareis and Sa Calobra, with natural cliffs entering inland and with unexpected reflections in stagnant waters, to culminate with the megalomaniacal opening towards the sea, captivated the viewer. especially to young Mir. In the views there Painted in the most varied formats, the results are always surprising. The spots of color intersperse and overlap, and the degrees of abstraction, as in this small note, are very radical. Practically only the small opening in the sky at the top left gives us an indication of where we are. Mir's fury in Sa Calobra was such that there he suffered an accident that forced to return him to the Peninsula and admit him to the Pere Mata mental institute in Reus. It was not known if he suffered a blow. There was a shock and he was shocked. If he was injured or if he had a hallucination and fell. Fortunately he recovered. completely and the artist was able to develop a long career, from which we will offer you more jewels.

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