Works On Paper Collection

Joan Miró

Two Personages (Deux personnages)


Barcelona, Spain 1893—Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1983
Two Personages (Deux personnages), 1935
Oil, enamel, nails, ball bearings, cheesecloth, string, and sand on cardboard
41 1/16 x 28 1/8 in.

At first glance Joan Miró’s Deux Personnages appears to be painted solely using oil paint. A closer look at the textured surface reveals that Miró incorporated found objects into the painting: nails, ball bearings, cheesecloth, string, and sand. Created during an experimental period in Miró’s career, Deux Personnages seems to be political in nature. Miró painted the work only a few months before he fled Barcelona for Paris, to escape growing hostilities leading to the Spanish Civil War. He depicts two figures bearing the flag colors of both Spain and his home region of Catalonia. In this context, the nails and ball bearings embedded in the painted surface introduce a menacing presence, as if the tools of conflict present between these two opposed figures.