There is a photograph by Joaquim Gomis in which Miró appears in a bathing suit and bare-footed, contemplating a root in Mont-roig.

His way of looking at the root, which is standing upright, is almost one of adoration. We don’t see his gaze directly but Gomis, one of the greatest late twentieth century Catalan photographers, is able to capture his observatory stance and the respect of the painter for such a simple natural element as a root. Unfortunately we do not have any photographs of Gaudí with a seashell in his hands or contemplating a flower or a leaf. But I would go as far as to think that his stance would be very similar to that of Miró contemplating the root.

Joaquim Gomis, Joan Miró contemplant una arrel a la platja de Mont-roig, Tarragona, c. 1946-1950. Fons Gomis, dipositat a l’Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya. © Hereus de Joaquim Gomis. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

It is this common stance between Gaudí and Miró, especially when it comes to nature as the generating principle of nature, that hovers over the exhibition Miró-Gaudí-Gomis which can be seen throughout the summer months at the Miró Foundation in Barcelona. The show, which has been organised using the collection of foundation and curated by Teresa Montaner and Ester Ramos, looks at the aesthetic and creative affinities of Gaudí and Miró as seen through the Joaquim Gomis.

Joan Miró, Gaudí XIII, 1979. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona. © Successió Miró 2019.

Gomis played an extraordinary part in the dissemination of the works of both artists through his own images, especially the so-called fotoscops, which is a collection of photo gorgeous books promoted in the 1950s by Joan Prats and which it would be great to republish some day because the Gomis’ intuitive view of the work of Miró and Gaudí is fiercely modern.

Joaquim Gomis, Detall d’una de les xemeneies de la terrassa de la Pedrera. Fons Joaquim Gomis, dipòsit a l’Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya. © Hereus de Joaquim Gomis. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

Apparently simple yet stuffed full of details which only become apparent on close observation, this exhibition shows the evident aesthetic meeting point between Gaudí and Miró, especially in the dialogue between sculptures by Miró and Gomis’ images of the chimneys of La Pedrera  or when you see at first hand that Miró made direct allusions to Park Güell when he was designing the Maze of the Maeght Foundation in Saint Paul de Vence, together with the ceramicist  Josep Llorens Artigas.  And what about the public sculpture Woman and Bird? Is that not Gaudinian in essence? All of this is accompanied by the anecdote that both artists took drawing classes at the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc during the first decade of the twentieth century, but they never met personally.

Odette Gomis, Joaquim Gomis, Joan Miró, Mme. Matisse i Joan Prats al terrat de la Casa Batlló, 1944. Fons Gomis, dipositat a l’Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya. © Hereus de Joaquim Gomis. Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

This exhibit highlights the importance of the documentary and artistic collection of the foundation but it also shows the need in the future to carry out a profound study and possibly a large exhibition about the fascinating relationship between Gaudí and Miró, united not only by taking nature as their source of inspiration, but also by the similar working processes they used to reach their own particular poetics.

The exhibition Miró-Gaudí-Gomis can be seen at the Miró Foundation, Barcelona, until 6 October.