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The Cover
September 23/30, 1998


JAMA. 1998;280(12):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.280.12.1034

During the period 1939 to 1941 the Spanish Surrealist painter Joan Miró (1893-1983) reached the nadir of his emotional life. Already an exile in France after the Spanish Civil War, he was forced to flee twice more, this time before the advancing German army. He ended up back in Spain, living in his wife's village. But if Miró was at a nadir in one area, he was also at a zenith in another: his creative and artistic life. It was during this 2-year period, from the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 to September 1941, that he produced what is arguably his finest work: the 23 gouaches of his Constellations series. They are also often considered to be the most significant work of the 20th century. Traces of its influence can be found in almost all work that came after it. The Abstract-Expressionists in particular owe much to Miró and some commentators even see a direct connection between the squiggles of Miró's Constellations and the so-called drip paintings of Jackson Pollock.

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