Barcelona, Spain

  • Date
  • 30 November 1999

How fitting that I finished Peggy Guggenheim’s autobiography this morning before visiting the Miro Museum. The book introduced me to almost every 20th century artist on exhibit – all were either encouraged and/or collected by Guggenheim. Many served as her lovers too.

Alexander Calder’s Mercury Fountain (1937), my favorite piece in the modern building holding Tanguy, Ernst and scores more, pays tribute to a small Spanish town rich in mercury, but destroyed during the Civil War. The mercury, floating and falling, appears as beads, liquid-like.

Klee’s impressive landscapes, on special exhibition, stood near other landscapes by Miro, whose simple, modern sculptures are more fascinating than his paintings. Near the end of life, Miro’s work became, well, odd. One enormous displayed piece looked like an appalling macramé remnant with umbrellas hanging from it. Jim said Miro opened this museum before he died as to have a space for his works that were not selling! I wonder what people will say about Miro’s work in 100 or 500 years? Future observers may say the macramé piece is a treasure for the world.