The Skiing Lesson, 1966 by Joan Miro

The Skiing Lesson belongs to a series of condensed, narrative configurations and is less poetic and cosmological in character than other paintings of the 1960s. Set against a semi-transparent, milky-white surface, which still bears a number of white spots (a feature that may have contributed to the title), there are a number of symbols and colours. It does not take long to discern a large configuration in the right half of the painting which, in turn, seems to be inextricably linked to other patterns and surrounding shapes. It is as if, quite unintentionally and playfully, Miro had started from a centre and then generated more and more shapes and colours, sending them adrift into the space of his picture, so that they did not add up to a cogent composition until they had found their place within the general context. The colours, too, seem to have their starting point in a centre (belonging to the configuration on the right) - at least so far as their intensity is concerned. The symmetrical correspondences between the colourful areas, the contrapuntal relationships between light and dark, hot and cold as well as the contrasts of quantity and quality make this painting a masterpiece of colour.