Awards & Collections
1895 - Prize from the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Barcelona
1896 - III Exposición de Bellas Artes, Barcelona. Third class medal
1897 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Honourable mention
1898 - IV Exposición de Bellas Artes, Barcelona. Third class medal
1899 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Second class medal
1901 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Second class medal
1910 - Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles. Second class medal
1911 - VI Exposición Internacional de Bellas Artes, Barcelona. First class medal
1915 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Second class medal
1917 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. First class medal
1930 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Medal of Honour
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
The Hispanic Society, New York
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, Barcelona
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
Museo de Montserrat, Barcelona
Colección Francisco Godia
Colección Caixa de Catalunya
Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer, Vilanova i la Geltrú
Casa Museo Pau Casals, El Vendrell
Joaquim Mir is, without a doubt, the great Spanish landscape painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His personal, bold, and intuitive pictorial approach was the result of constant, courageous, and limitless experimentation, which led him to achieve unique results.
Despite being enrolled in the School of Fine Arts of Barcelona, Mir continued to teach himself, an activity which he combined with classes at the private academy of the painter Lluís Graner (1863–1929). Interested in landscape themes, at the start of his career Mir was associated with a group of artists of his generation with whom he captured suburban landscapes in which yellow tones predominated. Among them were creators such as Isidre Nonell (1872–1911), Ricard Canals (1876–1931) and Ramon Pichot (1872–1925). He was part of the circle of Modernists from Barcelona who gathered at the Els 4 Gats tavern, where he met the young Picasso (1881–1973). He exhibited assiduously there from 1897, combining these exhibitions with more formal ones such as those put on at the Sala Parés.
Despite occasional recognition by way of medals in official competitions and some honourable mentions, Mir decided to distance himself from the art circuit in order to find a personal language with which to express himself freely. This led him to settle in Majorca from 1899, where he became fascinated by its pure and wild nature, one that had hardly been touched by man. The grottoes, caves, torrents and coves became the protagonists of his compositions. It was surely one of the main moments of his career, because there he would develop a new way of painting, where arbitrary colours and brushstrokes create intuitive and free compositions that flirted with abstraction.
In 1904 he suffered a fall that knocked him unconscious and forced the artist to return to Catalonia to be admitted to the Pere Mata Psychiatric Institute in Reus for almost two years.
He settled afterwards in Camp de Tarragona, where he continued his free interpretation of the landscape, in a synthesis that sometimes borders on abstraction. Despite his audacity, his work began to be valued for its different and bold results. As a result, the exhibitions at Sala Parés were continuous, especially when Mir was already in full maturity and his vibrant landscapes began to become more moderate and contained. In 1921 he established his definitive residence in Vilanova i la Geltrú, where he lived until his death in 1940. This period saw the consolidation of his presence on the market, not only locally, but also internationally, as he participated in exhibitions held in London and Buenos Aires where his painting was valued and acquired by important collectors of the time.
Mir's independence led him to realise an authentic and profound revolution in painting where patterns, impressions, arbitrary colour, spontaneity and freedom of brushstrokes shaped works that surpassed the initial approaches of Fauvisme, even advancing towards abstraction and the avant-garde styles of the early twentieth century.