Singing Fish Joan Miro Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Joan Miro's abstract style is well represented by The Singing Fish which is considered by many to be one of his finest paintings from a long and distinguished career.

A careful study of the abstract shapes and lines used here by the artist will help you to discover the fish, from the imaginative mind of Miro. The artist concentrates on the eye and scales for detail on the fish, allowing the viewer to recognise what is meant, and then constructing the rest of the image in their own mind. One commonly quoted comment from this Catalan painter, sculptor and draughtsman, which is particularly apt for this particular painting was "...In my opinion, mastering freedom means mastering simplicity. Then, at most, a line, a color, is enough to make the picture..."

This simplicity of colour and line can be seen through out his career, as well as in the work of other famous modern artists from the 20th century, such as Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Paul Klee and Jackson Pollock. The Singing Fish, both in it's simplicity and also the subject matter, has clear influences from prehistoric cave paintings which Miro is known to have studied and sought ideas from early on in his career. The bold colours and child-like capture of objects is typical of abstract art in general and more of these ideals can be found in the work of those artists mentioned here, as well as Pablo Picasso too.

This skilled draughtsman would have produced multiple study drawings for this painting before starting on the canvas that we find here. Despite the simplicity of his line and form, he would put in a great deal of thought into each composition prior to starting so that the end result would be accurate to what he had imagined. Altering oil paintings will always be more time consuming than to produce an extra drawing with amending details. A number of notebooks have been recovered from his career which provide an excellent insight into his thinking around each later oil painting, as well as underlining his qualities in that discipline too. This talented creative man would also become involved in sculpture and ceramics too.