You can see Joan Miró's sculptures and paintings at Seattle Art Museum. About 50 of them are visiting from Spain's national Reina Sofia museum, all made in the last 20 years of Miró's long life—1893 to 1983— while he was busy outliving his archenemy, the dictator Franco.
Unlike Picasso, unlike Buñuel, Miró was not an exile. He stayed in Spain but traveled widely and took part in politics. He went to Japan and his dense, surrealism-born canvases cleared out. In 1968, he joined the student protest movement, painting his version of graffiti: a mural he gleefully chipped off again.
What these late works do is demonstrate both sides of his life: what he picked up and what he let go of along the way. I've never loved Miró, but he's so likable in this late light. The sculptures especially. He'd tack together whatever was lying around. Or he'd build them up in the round, in clay, leaving his fleshy prints and his references and jokes all over the place. The sculpture above has what looks like a joyful little turd in the location where a penis would go.
Then he'd take these warm things and cast them in hard cold bronze. To keep them from suffocating, he gave them skins of foam green and rusty orange. They're never too serious—people compare Miró to Calder, but I don't see it; Calder feels engineery even when he's playing. Miró, you might like to meet.