This painting contains three of Joan Miró’s favorite subjects: night, women, and birds. For Miró, a nocturnal theme provided a simultaneous sense of comfort and fear. While the night is quiet and calm, many unknowns can lurk in the darkness. He felt that this inherent uncertainty allows us to be more in tune with our imaginations and subconscious thoughts. Female figures predominate Miró’s night scenes. These women are often accompanied by birds, which Miró believed served as intermediaries between the celestial (sky) and terrestrial (human). Here, the artist executed such compositional elements in a precise manner, and they are accompanied with gestural interventions of paint. His bright color palette becomes subordinate to the linear character of the work, which is further emphasized by the abundance of white ground. The result is a striking balance between spontaneity and control.
Label from Menagerie: Animals on View, March 11–June 4, 2017