Chicago’s Miró

A short documentary about Joan Miró Chicago, a public art piece that was created in 1981. This documentary was produced for the Chicago Council on Fine Arts, and also discusses Miró's career in general, as well as specifics about how the statue was built.

0:07Copy video clip URL The program begins with opening titles using computer animation by Jane Veeder that reference Miró’s art style.

0:56Copy video clip URL The narrator introduces the history of public artworks in Chicago, with illustrative video footage of the city and the pieces discussed: Pablo Picasso’s untitled sculpture in the Daley Plaza, Chagal’s “Four Seasons” mosaic wall, and Calder’s “Flamingo.” The narrator transitions into talking about Joan Miró, giving a brief biographical recounting of Miró’s career as an artist, and showing many examples of his work.

5:32Copy video clip URL The narrator moves on to speak specifically about the history of “Miró’s Chicago,” the statue Miró created for Chicago.

6:40Copy video clip URL A description of how they used a CAT scan to create detailed blueprints for the final statue based on a small maquette Miró made. “This new technique made it possible for the first time to build a piece of free-form sculpture exactly to the artist’s demands.” They show footage of the underlying steel armature being built at Schmidt’s Ironworks, workers creating the foundation for the statue, and other aspects of how the statue was constructed. Joan Gardy Artigas, a friend of Miró, is in charge of how to attach the ceramic tiles which accent some areas of the statue. There is a photo montage of how the gunite concrete was added and shaped, as well as photos of how the Parellada family of bronze casters in Barcelona created the comb, head, and neck.

13:37Copy video clip URL Footage of the unveiling and dedication of the statue. Mayor Jane Byrne is in attendance. William Hartman, in a meeting, talks about the importance of public artwork, which “contribute immensely to the personal quality” of the city, saying that in particular he looks forward to how kids will interact with it.

14:56Copy video clip URL An interview with Miró at his home on the island of Majorca, Spain. The interviewer asks Miró what he hopes people seeing his statue on the street in Chicago. He says he hopes people will “think that they are looking at something marvelous, and that it will tickle them up here,” pointing at his forehead/brain.

16:09Copy video clip URL End credits, with computer animation by Jane Veeder in the background again referencing the style of Miró‘s paintings.

17:51Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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