Joan Miró's Wild Decade
After a trip to the Netherlands in 1928, Miró pinned a postcard of a 17th-century Dutch genre scene by Hendrick Sorgh to his easel and began his creative demolition. This time, he adopted the opposite tack of his minimalist Spanish dancer; instead of reduction, he tried to tease out every implication of Sorgh's dandified lute player and adoring lady. The musician's excited ruff has swollen to enormous doughnut dimensions, and his phallic feet have burst through the lute and shattered its strings. The addled dog on the floor looks on with dismay while the woman … well, strange things have happened to the woman. Miró's surgically deconstructed Dutch masterpieces go way beyond Duchamp's mustache playfully pinned on the Mona Lisa. In other works in the MoMA show, Miró glued actual postcards to his canvas, doodling freely around "ready-made" images of pinup girls and vacation spots to create unsettling new contexts.