Joan Miró was a trailblazer in the realm of automatism, utilizing color and form in a symbolic fashion. He crafted elaborate compositions and embraced a fluid, meandering linear approach that melded abstract elements with recurring symbols like birds, eyes, and the moon.
He is widely considered one of the leading Surrealists (although never officially part of the group) in addition to automatism: a method of spontaneous drawing that attempted to express the inner workings of the human psyche. During his lifetime, Miró received the Grand Prize for Graphic Work at the 1954 Venice Biennale, exhibited at the first Documenta exhibition in 1955, and enjoyed multiple high-profile retrospectives. Today, Miró’s work—which has sold for eight figures at auction—can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, among other institutions. His public sculptures and murals are installed in cities around the world, including Milan, Paris and Barcelona.