Born in Barcelona, Spain, Miro studied art at School of Fine Arts at La Llotja and Gali's Escola d'Art. His earliest works show the influence of the Fauve and Cubist movements which were fashionable in Spain during the early part of the century. In 1920, Miro traveled to Paris and painted with Surrealists Andr, Masson and Max Ernst. While frequently identified with the Surrealist movement, Miro never fully accepted the movement's creed and refused to sign the Surrealist Manifesto.
Miro's vibrant canvases transport the viewer to alien worlds inhabited by all manner of whimsical creatures. His work has been characterized as psychic automatism, an expression of the subconscious in free form. By 1930 Miró had developed a lyrical style that remained fairly consistent. It is distinguished by the use of brilliant pure color and the playful juxtaposition of delicate lines with abstract, often amoebic shapes. Throughout his life, Miro felt a deep connection to his Catalan heritage and much of the symbolism that is so prevalent in his work is deeply rooted in this bond.
In 1940 Miro returned to Spain and began to explore new media including large scale sculpture, ceramics, murals and tapestries. Following his first retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 1941, Miro achieved international acclaim and is recognized as a pioneer of Modernism. After 1941, Miró lived mainly in Majorca. He painted murals for hotels in New York City and Cincinnati and for the Graduate Center at Harvard. In 1958 he completed ceramic decorations for the UNESCO buildings in Paris. Many of his canvases are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, both in New York City.