Copy #51 of 75, signed by Miro in pencil, on handmade paper (there were also 500 unsigned copies, with “letters” published as an advertising poster for the performance). Mourlot. The Lithographs of Joan Miro, #1050; Picazo. The Posters of Joan Miro, #86. 31" x 21". Image/sheet size 30 3/4 x 22 1/4 in. (78.0 x 56.4 cm), unmatted, Deckled edges.
Miro created this lithograph as an advertising poster for the modern ballet Lucifer performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company, featuring Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev as guest artists. Lucifer premiered June 19, 1975 at The Uris Theater in New York City as the main feature of The Martha Graham Gala.
In Martha Graham’s words, “Many people have asked me why I did Lucifer with Rudolf Nureyev. Lucifer is the bringer of light. When he fell from grace he mocked God. He became half god, half man. As half man, he knew men’s fears, anguish, and challenges. He became the god of light. Any artist is the bringer of light. That’s why I did Lucifer with Nureyev. He’s a god of light. And Margot Fonteyn was such a glorious complement to him at it. Luminous as night. When I first saw Margot Fonteyn she was a great and beautiful figure.” (Unidentified interview with Martha Graham, 1975.)
Fonteyn provides background as to the Premiere of Lucifer in 1975. “It was certainly a star occasion. Tickets for the performance went on sale from $10,000 down to $50. Fans wore Martha, Margot, Rudi buttons. Among other things the Gala may have been a sort of official celebration of the marriage between classical ballet and modern dance.... Martha dominated her Gala from a Chinese chair beside the proscenium arch, where she announced each ballet. [The fashion designer] Halston made the Lucifer costumes.” It was the first performance for Fonteyn without toe shoes. (Margot Fonteyn Autobiography, Knopf, 1976)
Provenance: Through the family of former Rhode Island governor and United States senator John Orlando Pastore (1907-2000). (Inventory #: 1197)