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Joan Miró’s The Reaper is back in Pavelló de la República

Joan Miró painting <i>The Reaper</i> (<i>El Segador</i> in Catalan, <i>Le faucheur</i>, in French), Paris 1937. Photo: Roness-Ruan. Arxiu Successió Miró.

Joan Miró painting The Reaper (El Segador in Catalan, Le faucheur, in French), Paris 1937. Photo: Roness-Ruan. Arxiu Successió Miró.

The black and white reproduction of the disappeared work is now put in the original place: first floor, current head offices of Pavelló de la República CRAI Library.

The black and white reproduction of the disappeared work is now put in the original place: first floor, current head offices of Pavelló de la República CRAI Library.

The painting, ceded for free by Successió Miró for a four-year period, can be seen during the opening hours of the pavilion: from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The painting, ceded for free by Successió Miró for a four-year period, can be seen during the opening hours of the pavilion: from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

14/02/2018

Cultura

In 1937, the Pavelló de la República was presented at the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life in Paris, a work by the architects Josep Lluís Sert and Luis Lacasa, to hold artistic and cultural exhibitions to show the world the horrors of the war and the fight against fascism. Some of the main Spanish artists of that time took part in the exhibition, such as Pablo Picasso, who painted the well-known Guernica, which would travel the world. The Reaper wasn’t that successful. This painting by Joan Miró, disappeared mysteriously once the exhibition was over. Now, eighty years later, a black and white reproduction of the original is now exhibited in the reconstruction of Pavelló de la República in the district of Horta-Guinardó, in Barcelona, a building that was rebuilt on the occasion of the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. The pavilion is the current head office of the Centre for International Historical Studies (CEHI) and the Pavelló de la República CRAI Library of the University of Barcelona.

Miró painted The Reaper (Le faucheur in French) in one of the rooms of the Pavelló de la República. This work, also known as Catalan peasant in revolt, had large dimensions (5,50 x 3,65 meters), and was done onto six celotex panels. The painting displayed a reaper with a barretina (Catalan hat) and without legs, rooted to the ground like a tree, with a sickle on one hand while he raised the other hand to touch a star. The Reaper represented the dream of a rebellion of a generation that wanted freedom. The work disappeared when the pavilion was closed and has not been found yet. There are only some black and white pictures of it. This material served to reproduce the original work some months ago in Galeria Mayoral, on the occasion of the exhibition called “Artistes revolucionaris”, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Pavelló de la República in Paris. Now, once the exhibition finished and thanks to an agreement between UB and Successió Miró —with the painter’s grandson, Joan Punyet Miró—, this reproduction can be visited at the Pavelló de la República in Barcelona.

This reproduction was made in black and white on vinyl and it has large dimensions too, which gives a clear idea of how important it was. It has been placed where the original one was: first floor of the pavilion, where you can find Pavelló de la República CRAI Library of the UB, one of the most important file and library archives on the Second Spanish Republic, the Spanish Civil War and Franco regime, exile and transition in Spain and in Catalonia particularly. This wall painting can be visited during the opening hours of the pavilion: from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to the agreement, the ceding of this reproduction is free and is for a first period of four years, which can be postponable. To the vice-rector for Arts, Culture and Heritage of the UB, Salvador García Fortes, this ceding is “an example of generosity by Joan Miro’s heirs, which allows us to share this painting with the city and the Catalan society”. This agreement starts a new path to “try to have, be it with copies or reproductions, the artistic elements gathered in the Paris Exhibition in 1937 back in the Pavilion”. They aim to get back a historical recreation, not only with the building but also with its content, with works by the most distinguished artists from the 20th century, “which make it unique and bring a better understanding of its values, which we intend to make permanent” he notes. The next step is “rather a wish: to complete Alexander Calder’s Font de Mercuri in the Pavelló de la República”, he concludes.

 

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