Joan Miro at the National Gallery of Art


View Photo Gallery: A new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, “Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape,” puts an emphasis on the artist’s complicated relationship to his homeland, the Spanish Civil War, the devastation of the Second World War and Spain’s difficult times during Francisco Franco’s long rule. The exhibit runs through Aug. 12.

On the heels of the epic popularity of the exhibition “Colorful Realm,” the National Gallery is opening a new show, that will no doubt draw herds of art-lovers. On Sunday, the museum unveils “Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape.” The show comes to Washington by way of London’s Tate Modern, and the National Gallery will be the only stateside destination for the exhibition.

It’s difficult to understate the immensity of the show. About 120 paintings and works on paper populate two floors of gallery space in the East Building. The works span the Catalan artist’s decades-long career, although the museum purports to showcase Miro’s political side. Expect to see examples of his early detailist style, his deconstructed human figures (such as in “Woman and Little Girl in Front of the Sun”), large-scale monochromatic canvases and overtly political pieces.

Post critic Philip Kennicott called the show exhilarating, and it’s certainly a big get for Washington. For the occasion, the National Gallery is touting a few add-ons. For starters, local superstar chef Jose Andres has transformed the menu at the museum’s Garden Cafe. The Catalan-inspired fare includes a veggie and white bean salad with Catalan salt cod and a stew of beef cheeks and mushrooms, not to mention Spanish beer and wine. In addition to the usual lectures and gallery talks, on Sunday the museum will also host a “Cine-concert,” with a screening of silent films by Segundo de Chomón accompanied by live music.

Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies and pop culture for the Post.

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