Fundacio Joan Miro announces Before the Horizon

Fundacio Joan Miro presents Before the Horizon an exhibition on view 24 October 2013–16 February 2014, dedicated to the representation of the horizon from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Max Ernst, Humboldt Current, 1951–1952. Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Collection Beyeler.

Max Ernst, Humboldt Current, 1951–1952. Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Collection Beyeler.


The selected works include painting, photography, sculpture, installation and a reference to land art. The exhibition is organized as fourteen conversations between works linked thematically but without a chronological order. Exhibited together, their different ways of representing the horizon reveal the importance of this element in the development of modern and contemporary art.

The title, Before the Horizon, is a reference to Georges Didi-Huberman’s essay Devant le temps. Histoire de l’art et anachronisme des images (Before Time. Art History and the Anachronism of Images). Following Didi-Huberman’s study, the exhibition presents the works as a series of anachronistic conversations between pictorial, photographic and sculptural representations of the horizon from Romanticism and Impressionism to the present.

Before the Horizon features around sixty works by national and international artists, including some key figures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as Arnold Böcklin, Claude Monet, Eadweard Muybridge, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Ed Ruscha, Carl Andre, David Hockney and Yayoi Kusama.

The first room in the exhibition takes Miró as its key reference and includes three large-format works by Modest Urgell, Joan Miró and Perejaume. The horizon was a recurring theme in Miró’s work, one he had learned from his teacher Modest Urgell, who is also represented in the room. Perejaume, a disciple of both, completes the conversation with his particular post-modern vision.

After this first room, the exhibition opens up geographically. The next room places the origins of horizon painting in a German, Swiss and Scandinavian context, from Romanticism to Symbolism. Starting with Arnold Böcklin’s painting Fir trees, 1849, the earliest work in the exhibition, this section includes examples of this unique and peculiar way of looking at the horizon by northern European artists. Featured in this room are several masters of the horizon: August Strindberg, Ferdinand Hodler, Anna-Eva Bergman and Gerhard Richter.

The exhibition continues with a room dedicated to the French avant-garde, which led artistic creation until well into the twentieth century, represented here by Édouard Vuillard, Raoul Dufy, Alexander Calder and François Morellet. Overlapping this selection we find a group of seascapes, an important chapter in horizon representation, by artists such as Kees van Dongen, Pierre Bonnard, Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst.

The exhibition also includes two rooms dedicated to the horizon from the perspective of sculptural practice, where we find a dialogue between Eduardo Chillida and Ann Veronica Janssens and a dialogue between Dan Flavin and Carl Andre.

The works by Carl Andre and Dan Flavin also act as an introduction to a large second section centred on the North-American horizon with pieces by Agnes Martin, Ansel Adams, Alex Katz, Fred Sandback, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Eadweard Muybridge, Ed Ruscha and Roni Horn. Next there is a section dedicated to the post-colonial horizon with photographs by Isaac Julien and Zineb Sedira.

Before the Horizon is curated by Martina Millà, Head of Programmes and Projects at the Fundació Joan Miró, and sponsored by the Fundación BBVA.

Fundació Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuïc
08038 Barcelona
[email protected]

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