Rotterdam museum acquires 'biggest asset ever' with Joan Miró painting
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam has acquired a painting from famed Catalan artist Joan Miró. The painting, which was unveiled by State Secretary for Culture and Media Gunay Uslu, is a landmark purchase for the museum.
The 1927 painting is titled "Peinture-poème (Musique, Seine, Michel, Bataille et moi)" and is one of the last of the artist's so-called "dream paintings." Its purchase was possible through the Rembrandt Association, the Mondriaan Fund, the Vriendenloterij and "dozens of Rotterdam funds and donors," according to the museum.
The painting is especially fitting for Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, since it marks a "tipping point" where Miró "develops his unique organic visual language within abstract surrealism," said Eelco van der Lingen, director of the Mondriaan Fund. Miró himself described the painting: "I loved making circles in the water. I loved the reflections and the changing colors in changing light. Shortly afterwards I painted a painting that evoked the walks along the river [Seine]."
It was long thought impossible that the museum could add Miró's art to its collection of surrealist art, which includes the works of Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Francis Picabia, René Magritte, Unica Zürn and Leonora Carrington. In 1987, the museum's former director Coert Ebbinge Wubben said in an interview, "Of course we should have had Tanguy and Miró. The two big gaps are Tanguy and Miró, and I'm afraid they will never come again."
But Wubben was proven wrong when the museum made its most expensive purchase to date, which was officially added to the collection by Uslu on Sept. 29. According to Forbes, the piece cost the museum 8.1 million Swiss francs, or almost 8.4 million euros.
"Miró like this has been missing since the beginning of the collection," said Sjarel Ex, the museum's director. "But, once we know what we want, we have time. We can wait generations for a particular painting if necessary. The wait is over."