Woman in Front of the Sun, 1950 by Joan Miro

Miro once said: "In my opinion, mastering freedom means mastering simplicity. Then, at most, a line, a color, is enough to make the picture". He was right, simplicity in form defines Woman in front of the Sun but there are many figurative meanings to the figures that appear in his painting that are unclear.

A form (that we assume is a woman because of the title) appears to have a monster's head and arms that are not formed. A large, black figure rises against a dark blue starry surface. The shape that forms the head contains a yellow-green eye, staring into the night and wide open, like a cat's eye. The hook-like indentations on the head may be arms or breasts; they may be raised as in prayer or ready to catch something; they are aerials stretched out into the night and belong to a mythical figure, on the same level as the ancient mother goddesses of the Mediterranean. Set against this vision, the red sun only confers a cold and fading light. These are creatures of the night.

Later in Miro's career, he changed his sign language. He retained many signs such as woman, bird, stars, eye, sun, etc.., but his style changed from being enigmatic and symbolic to simple and humorous. A figure now appears to be just a figure, no more.