Unlike [Pablo Picasso] with his string of mistresses and wives, [Alexander Calder] and [Joan Miro] were family men who married young and remained with their wives for a lifetime. In 1929, Miro married Pilar Juncosa; they had one child, Maria Dolores. In 1931, Calder married Louisa James; they had two children, Sandra and Mary. Many of the letters between Calder and Miro include postscripts from their wives and daughters. During the interview with Miro, Pilar joined us in the living room as her husband was discussing his depictions of women. She interrupted and asked if we had ever noticed that, although his portraits of women were ugly, his self-portraits were quite handsome. Miro laughed and changed the subject.
In the 1970s, Calder and Miro were commissioned again to provide works for the same site -- the new east wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Calder designed a 920-pound mobile to hang in the building's atrium while Miro crafted (with fellow Spanish artist Josep Royo) an enormous tapestry for the opposite wall. But Calder died in 1976 at age 78, a year before the mobile was mounted. "Sandy, Sandy," Miro wrote in a farewell poem, "your ashes caress the rainbow flowers that tickle the blue of the sky." Miro, working without stop until the end, died in 1983 at 90.
CALDER: "Twenty Leaves and an Apple" is made from sheet metal, piano wire and paint.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Copyright 2004 Successio Miro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris; PREVIOUS PAIRING: Miro's 30-foot-long oil on canvas mural was commissioned for the Terrace Plaza Hotel's rooftop restaurant in Cincinnati in 1947. Calder's "Twenty Leaves" mobile hung in the lobby.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Copyright 2004 Successio Miro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris; COMPLEMENTARY: Alexander Calder, left, and Joan Miro at a 1969 Calder retrospective in France.; PHOTOGRAPHER: The Phillips Collection; MIRO: "Ciphers and Constellations in Love with a Woman" is gouache and watercolor with graphite traces on ivory white paper.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Copyright 2004 Successio Miro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris; no caption; PHOTOGRAPHER: Copyright 2004 Estate of Alexander Calder/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; REUNION: Joan Miro's paintings join Alexander Calder's work on display in Washington, D.C.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Copyright 2004 Successio Miro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris