Artist: Joan Miro
Medium: etching, aquatint and carborundum
Title: L'Oiseau Destructeur
Size: 28 1/2" x 37"
Framed: 36 ½” x 45”
Edition: Limited HC hors commerce impression aside from the edition of 75
The work in question has been listed and documented in the catalogue raisonné: Dupin, J. & Lelong-Mainaud, A. (2001). Miró Engraver, Vol. II. 1961 – 1973. Daniel Lelong éditeur: Paris. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 512 on pg. 160.
Condition: Overall great condition. A little waviness in the print. No rips or tears in the paper. One small abrasion less than ¼ inch midway up the middle right. Small enough we couldn’t get it to show up in photo. Framing is new with no expense spared.
Includes: Print, framing, free shipping, packaging, gallery certificate of authenticity.
One of the more famous etchings by Joan Miro, “L’ouseau Destructerur” was made in 1969, as a combination of etching, aquatint and carboriundum method in a recognizable visual language of the artist. This particular piece is one of the successful Miro’s prints in auction, easily achieving prices of $20K and over.
For a print, “L’ouseau Destructerur” is rather large in scale, which allows for its strong composition to dominate. Thick strokes of black describe an associative, abstract form around the white backdrop, while the focal points are accentuated by primary colors, typical of Miro’s oeuvre. Further pertinent elements are found within the evocations of “eyes”, irregularly scattered around the image of a big, destructive bird, yet another favorite motif in Miro’s work. What sets this work apart is the concentration of the energy in central regions, which spreads across the black abstracted limbs and beyond the edge of paper. Powerful imagery is set against a soft background, gently highlighted by a linear clew of purple, contributing to the balance of this weighty, ominous composition.
Miro’s printed body of work reached its highest point in late 1960s, after the artist was introduced to carborundum (silicon carbide engraving) technique in 1967. This innovative process is actually an advanced etching technique, which requires the use of an abrasive ground (carborundum) added to the etching plate to create a granulated or textured surface.
Joan Miro found that by combining this new technique with other etching methods, especially aquatint, he could create images to rival any painting, thereby elevating the art of printmaking above mere reproduction. Carborundum prints created from 1967 through 1969 set an unprecedented standard for quality and set the ground for a fruitful printmaking period in Joan Miro’s career.
Museum of Modern Art in New York recognized the progressive nature of this specific series of carborundum prints, dedicating an entire exhibition to them in 1970, titled Joan Miro: Fifty Recent Prints.