The artist Joan Miró lived and worked on Cala Major for 40 years. After his death in 1983, his wife converted the
house and former studio into an art centre. This modern edifice, nicknamed the “Alabaster Fortress” by the Spanish press, is the work of Rafael Moneo, a leading Spanish architect. The new building houses a permanent exhibition of Miró’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures, as well as a library, auditorium and a shop selling items decorated with the artist’s colourful designs.

1 Building Design
Composed of concrete made to look like travertine marble, the starkly modern building is softened by reflecting pools, cool planes, ramps and staircases. Its high, narrow windows afford surprising views from the hilltop site. Most originally, huge marble panels are used as translucent walls, softly lighting the trapezoidal exhibition spaces.


2 Sculptures
Upon entering, you’re greeted by three whimsical bronzes and a very much larger monumental piece, which are all vaguely anthropomorphic. Downstairs, the giant Woman and Bird was executed by Miró with ceramist Llorenç  rtigast.


3 Documentation
A special room is set aside near the entrance to reveal the steps Miró took in creating the various components of his graphic images.

4 Works on Paper
Several works on paper are displayed, most exhibiting the signature primary colours and splashes for which the artist is known.

5 Mural del Sol
Dominating one room is a five-panel sketch on paper, the study for a mural in the UNESCO building in Paris, co-created with Llorenç Artigast in 1955–8. The work won the Guggenheim award.


6 Works on Canvas
Many of these works are mixed media – oil, acrylic, chalk and pastel. Some may have been inspired by
Japanese Zen action painting. Some are blue – for Miró the most universal and optimistic colour – while some
black and white works are an aggressive response to the tragedies of the Spanish Civil War.

 
7 Temporary Exhibitions
The temporary exhibition spaces feature the works of such up-and-coming artists as Paloma Navares.

 
8 Garden
In the garden, groups of rocks resembling water lilies “float” in a pool, while in other niches works by modern and avant-guarde artists can be found.


9 Murals
Above one of the garden pools, a black rectangle encloses a ceramic mural by Miró, with shapes gyrating
in space. Taking up a whole wall in the café is a mural of the sun and other celestial bodies.


10 Studio
Miro’s studio looks like the artist just stepped outside for a break from work in progress. Objects
that inspired Miró are all around: Hopi kachina dolls, Mexican terracottas, a bat skeleton and various
everyday items.

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