When we went on a trip to Tate Modern, we had to find one piece we liked and one we didn’t. The piece I did like was Malangatana Ngwenya’s “Untitled” piece from 1967, which I have already analysed.
Finding a piece I didn’t like was more difficult as I could see the artistic merit in everything I saw exhibited, but I decided upon Joan Miro’s “Painting” from 1927 as my least favourite piece because it was one of those typical pieces where people would say “my child could draw that” and I found it to be unapproachable due to how much it defied convention. I actually like the piece, I like it for the very reason that at first I didn’t and it made me challenge my ideas, but I’ll criticise it nonetheless.
The painting was exhibited in the surrealism room with this description:
It’s difficult to infer much from these paintings as, though Miro used symbolism, the symbolism is cryptic enough to not make sense upon first view. The attitude of Miro and other surrealist artists was to capture the unconscious as purely as possible through automatic art, straight from dreams or hallucinations. Miro has said that all of his forms are signs of something and none of it is abstract, though looking at his painting, it is difficult to take much from it in the way of understanding his subconscious, or anything else.
The marks in the painting could be seen as an animal (Miro apparently later said it was a horse), and the upper-middle and lower-right as breasts, the circles and lines to the right as balloons, though this still doesn’t seem to give much meaning. Due to the piece’s vagueness and the subject matter’s message not coming through, the whole painting to me feels pretty meaningless. That being said, I can still understand and appreciate the concept of directly representing the human subconscious, I just don’t particularly find the outcome engaging.