Dawn Perfumed by a Shower of Gold
Watercolor and plaster on composition board
42 1/2 x 21 5/8 in. (108 x 54.9 cm.)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
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"FOLLOWING THE SPARE APPARITIONS of the mid-twenties, Miro moved to develop a unique iconography of signs and pictograms drawn from his imagination, his environment, and his Catalan heritage. Closely linked historically to the Surrealists yet isolated from them by consummate individualism, he delved into the realm of dreams and fantasy, using images that evoked subconscious recognition and universal emotions. The com- positions again became more complex, sometimes taking the form of a landscape in which disparate object-images are combined within a single arena, sometimes becoming ambiguous arenas where biomorphic forms float on amorphous backdrops. Miro fused poetry with pictorial concerns, alluding to the literary conjugation of beauty with lyrical titles that provide keys to the symbols depicted.
"Miro's creation of a pictorial vocabulary reached its apex in 1940 when he executed a series of small gouaches entitled Constellations. Begin
"While Miro's attention was occupied with work in a variety of mediums in the early years of the fifties, he continued to produce a number of easel paintings. Dawn Perfumed by a Shower of Gold, executed in 1954, with its whimsical sexuality and gaily hued palette, characterizes the joyous nature of the output of the period. A strictly limited number of images, including the artist's hallmark star, fills the vertical picture plane, concentrating its focus and endowing it with an upward sense of elation. The central image, an elongated personage with sexually explicit appendages, is defined by linear arabesques, a weightless network grounded by a brightly checkered pedestal. The playing-off of line against flat, articulated shapes which change color at the over- lapping of planes, sets up a playful rhythm, and together these elements extricate themselves from their airy, sunlit ambiance. The picture surface is pebbled and scumbled, suggesting the title's "shower of gold" and adding yet another element of visual activity. This work expresses the multifaceted nature of Miro's talent, one which combines joy with serious dedication, formal concerns with poetic ones, and reality with the world of fantasy."