Piet Mondrian

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Sincer, nu știu de ce mi-am petrecut  7 zile din viață downloadând fotografii și picturi de-ale lui Mondrian, căutând video-uri și articole despre el. Poate din încercarea de a înțelege de ce niște dungi și dreptunghiuri contează atât de mult, ce zic ele despre cultura noastră, despre cei car ele apreciază dar și despre cei care trec pe lângă ele nepăsători.
Nu mai știu când am aflat prima dată de Mondrian, dar știu sigur că am aflat de la Ani. Îmi amintesc că i-a pronunțat numele ca și cum ar fi cineva important și de atunci numele ăsta mi-a tot atras atenția. De fapt ea vorbea despre Modigliani, un total alt om cu total ală poveste.
Mondrian s-a mutat la Paris prin 1912. În paris i-a întâlnit pe Picasso și G.... Și s-a lăsat influențat de cubism. Iar lucrările lui încep să fie din ce în ce mai „cubiste”.
Considera arta abstractă ca fiind o reprezentare a minții umane.

L-a prins primul război mondial când era în vizită acasă, și a rămas acolo până la terminarea acestuia. În timpul ăsta a înființat revista De Stijl (Stilul) împreună cu ..... unde a pus teoriile neoplasticismului.
Mondrian also proposed that beauty is based on a relationship between complementarities: balanced and equivalent forces that he believed were the purest representation of universality, of the harmony and unity that are inherent characteristics of the mind and of life, and of anything.

Amedeo Modigliani, 1915

Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of Raymond, 1915. Oil on canvas (37x29cm)

Se pare că Mondrian a fost unul din cei mai importanți artiști ai secolului 20 și că el a dezvolat limbajul picturii abstracte.
iubea jazz-ul și era în căutare de echilibru și armonie, prin picturile lui abstracte încerca să redea o formă de puritate, și armonie, reducând culorile la ceea ce sunt.
Nu a început să-și câștige existența din ceea ce-i aducea plăcere decât după ce a împlinit 50 de ani, când a vândut prima pictură unui colecționar francez. Pana atunci trăia reproducând picturi de-ale altor artiști, sau naturi moarte și flori în acuarelă.
Din câte am observat, studioul lui era dubios de curat.
S-a născut în Olanda și a început să învețe să deseneze de la tatăl său.
Se pare că tatăl lui era pictor, și a împrumutat de la el drive-ul ăsta. A început ca cei mai mulți artiști, pictând peizaje cât mai realist
În video-ul de mai jos e un nene amuzant care vorbește despre el mai bine decât mine, în engleză. Enjoy!

Piet Mondrian, Avond (Seara): Copacul roșu, 1908.

Avond (Evening): The Red Tree, one of the most important in Mondrian s series on the tree theme, was done in the same year as the Windmill in Sunlight. In its color range and brushwork, and above all in its conception of nature, it shows many points of contact with that other picture. Here too there seems to be a definite influence of Vincent van Gogh's paintings. The painting recalls certain of Vincent's pictures of trees, particularly olive trees and cypresses, in which the brushwork, along with the simplification of color, plays so important a part. But reference to these paintings is not by itself sufficient to explain the origin and character of Avond (Evening): The Red Tree.

A good deal is known about the history of this canvas. There are several sketches and studies for it, making it possible to assign the picture its place in Mondrian's evolution. The remarkably thoroughgoing simplification of the color range and the trend toward nonnaturalistic colors, much more evident and decisive than in his previous paintings, are the most striking characteristics of the canvas, confirming the emphasis on color that preoccupied Mondrian throughout 1908. In that year, during which his horizon opened out toward international art, color was his chief concern, the most important new factor. And the way in which he here revolts against tonalism and collects his entire experience into the concordance of blue and red shows him for the first time to be an independent discoverer, an artist capable of developing a style of his own.

But this individual, personal style is not marked by the new acquisition of color alone. With respect to form, also, Avond (Evening): The Red Tree ranges far beyond the initial impression of nature. For comparison with the preliminary studies makes it evident that in the painting Mondrian has interpreted his impression of reality, transformed it into an idiom of his own: all the details of the tree's appearance, which in nature give a spatial effect, are straightened out on the pictorial surface, so that the linear structure of the brush strokes produces an almost completely flat impression. The spatial dimension of depth is suggested by the color, by the deep blue that Van Gogh identified with infinity. This use of color, this intense and spatially suggestive contrast of red (close by) and blue (receding), has a meaning that is not merely descriptive. In this painting Mondrian wanted to set down his entire vision of nature, his credo as regards the world: the calm prevailing over the entire picture, despite the violence of the tree's movement, is that of an equilibrium - the equilibrium which Mondrian wished to triumph over the tragedy of facts.

Piet Mondrian, Copacul Gri, 1912

Gray Tree is an early artwork by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. The stark, monochromatic piece is almost unrecognizable as a Mondrian artwork; it certainly does not encapsulate the bold lines and primary colors that became his legacy. However, Gray Tree shows us Mondrian’s early experiments with cubism. In this article, Singulart looks at Mondrian’s brief but influential dalliance with cubism, examines the composition of Gray Tree, and explores Mondrian’s belief that spirituality was intrinsically tied to nature. 
The Moderne Kunstkring show, exhibited in Holland in 1911, was a revelation for Mondrian, as it was the first time he had seen the cubist style displayed so prominently.  Mondrian began experimenting with analytic cubism after moving to Paris in 1912. He was inspired by the works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques, but while they were more interested in painting still lifes, Mondrian drew inspiration from nature. 
However, Mondrian’s use of cubism differed from his contemporaries. Although he depicted recognizable objects in his work, they were still more abstract than the work of Picasso and Braques. He avoided using the suggestion of volume, and his subjects do not seem to be rooted by gravity, instead fading away at the edges of the artworks.
Mondrian would eventually abandon the cubism movement, as it did not reflect the spirituality that he was attempting to portray through his work. He stated:
“Gradually I became aware that cubism did not present the logical consequences of its own discoveries; it was not developing abstraction towards its ultimate goal: the expression of true reality.” 
Gray Tree is generally believed to be Mondrian’s first foray into cubism. Like Picasso, he employs an oval shape for the tree, which is rendered in curved, broad dark strokes. The background of the piece is gray, with abstract cube shapes apparent. While the painting can still be seen as representational- the form of the tree is still evident- it still embodies the principles of cubism. The tree has an oval shape, an idea that Mondrian borrowed from Picasso. 
Mondrian reduces the tree’s form to something flat and two-dimensional. The tree’s form has been radically simplified, even when compared to artworks such as The Red Tree, painted just four years prior. While both pieces, along with The Flowering Apple Tree, came from the same initial sketch, the three paintings show the increasing influence of cubism on Mondrian’s work. While The Red Tree and Gray Tree still represent the basic form of a tree, The Flowering Apple Tree is completely devoid of a recognizable tree shape, reduced to lines and shades of green, gray and purple. 
Gray Tree still reduces the tree down to a bare essence, though not quite to the extent of The Flowering Apple Tree. The tree appears to be separate from the rest of nature, in a lonely, bleak landscape, appearing as an organic object. Similarly to his other cubist works, the edges of the artwork appear almost unfinished; they are left bare, with the viewer’s attention being drawn to the central figure of the tree. 
Spirituality and nature
Through his art, Mondrian aimed “to articulate a mystic conception of cosmic harmony that lay behind the surfaces of humanity.” His goal was to portray the relationship between spirituality and nature. Mondrian was a believer in theosophy, which is a movement that believes in divine ethics, or that divine knowledge will give access to the mysteries of mankind. Theosophy influenced Mondrian’s work in the sense that he moved away from portraying the realistic and the naturalistic. He wrote, “To approach the spiritual in art, one will use as little of reality as possible, for reality is opposed to the spiritual. Thus the use of elementary forms is quite logical. Since these forms are abstract, we find ourselves confronted by an art that is abstract.”
He later expanded on this theory, stating: 
“If you follow nature you will not be able to vanquish the tragic to any real degree in your art. It is certainly true that naturalistic painting makes us feel a harmony which is beyond the tragic, but it does not express this in a clear and definite way, since it is not confined to expressing relations of equilibrium… We must free ourselves from our attachment to the external, for only then do we transcend the tragic, and are enabled consciously to contemplate the repose which is within all things.”
Mondrian’s spiritual side was particularly evident in pieces such as Metamorphosis and Evolution. Metamorphosis depicts a chrysanthemum flower, thought to be a symbol of the life cycle, or of decay and rebirth, while Evolution portrays three ethereal figures, symbolizing the ascension to a spiritual plane. 
Mondrian eventually adapted his philosophical views with the creation of the De Stijl movement. He wanted to create a form of universal beauty through his art, using equilibrated contrasts. 

Piet Mondrian, The Flowering Apple Tree (1912)

The Gray Tree is one of the first paintings in which Mondrian applied to a natural subject the principles of cubist composition that he was in the process of assimilating and working out in his own way. At the same time, it is a continuation of the series on the Tree theme, which began with the studies for the Red Tree of 1908. Although four years elapsed between the Red Tree and The Gray Tree, it would be a mistake not to see them like two links in a single chain of development.

Actually, there are a few additional links in the chain connecting the luminist version of 1908, with its bold red and blue, and the cubist one of 1912, in which color has receded almost completely, and form and rhythm dominates. These additional links date from Mondrian's Zeeland period and comprise a number of little works that reached a highpoint in the Blue Tree, probably created in 1910, the same year in which other motifs - dunes, mills, church facades - similarly acquired a character of their own.

In 1912, or perhaps as early as the winter of 1911/12, Mondrian came back to the theme of trees in a large drawing in black chalk, in which his unmistakable aim was to bring the three-dimensional volume of the bare tree, with its twisted branches, onto the surface of the picture, into the second dimension. His project was to transform the thing that he saw in front of him into a rhythmic sign on his sheet of paper. This drawing became the starting point for at least three paintings: The Gray Tree reproduced here; a closely related canvas, somewhat more oblong in shape and thus a little closer to the drawing; and the Flowering Apple Tree.

It seems evident that the process which took place between the large 1911/12 drawing and the Flowering Apple Tree paralleled the change in conception between the first and second versions of the Still Life with Gingerpot II. The Gray Tree is a little further along in that course of development than the first version of the still life; the factual qualities of the tree have already been converted into a rhythmic play of lines, leaving the thing-value of each part far behind. Nonetheless, a certain painterly quality is still an important factor in the appearance of this tree painting. It is an effect attained by vigorous brush strokes with smooth paint, and it has almost totally disappeared in the second version of the still life. The Gray Tree, in turn, seems a major and successful effort to translate the drawing of a tree, which had itself been executed with a primarily compositional purpose, into a painting embodying the principles of cubism, which Mondrian had mastered for himself in the interim.

André Kértész, Mondrian's Glasses and Pipe, 1926 

Paul Delbo, Studio of Mondrian, 26 rue du Départ, Paris, 1925.

Paul Delbo, Studio of Mondrian, 26 rue du Départ, Paris, 1925.

Color was an important factor for Piet Mondrian in his paintings. History has a wide range of color theories, from scientific to purely subjective. On August 28, 1749, the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born. Made famous with the play Faust and the novel Het Lijden van de Jonge Werther, he also worked as a scientist and philosopher. For example, he devised a color theory that had a major influence on the artists of De Stijl, especially Mondrian.

Goethe identified three basic primary colors: red, yellow and blue. When these are placed together, a strong harmony is created. These colors bring out the best in each other. Harmony between primary colors is stronger than when, for example, different shades of a color are placed close to each other. Within Goethe's theory there are two types of color: symbolic and allegorical. Symbolic color corresponds to the colors of things in visible reality. Allegorical color, on the other hand, is based on convention. Without knowledge of this, the meaning of this color cannot be immediately understood.

When Mondrian had been living in Paris for a few years, Dutch journalists started writing about him in the newspapers. A number of articles appeared, in which his special studio (with the many areas of color on the walls - as if a painting in 3D) played a leading role. The studio was depicted as a monastery cell, where Mondrian worked on his paintings as a monk. Although it was an image that resonated with many people, the opposite was true: Mondrian received only a few visitors in his studio (well after the visit had been announced in advance), he liked to play his latest gramophone records, and as female visitors there felt like they danced to their heart's content. Although Mondrian took his art very seriously, the image of a hermit in a monastery cell is incorrect.

ecause Mondrian mainly used geometric shapes in his abstract paintings, it is often thought to be a kind of trick or formula that Mondrian used over and over again. But nothing could be further from the truth: Mondrian's paintings are the result of his intuition - for him it is a constant search for the right composition and proportions between the horizontals, verticals and areas of color.

Mondrian's paintings do not arise from a formula. On the contrary. The paintings are strongly related to his life in the major cities in which he lived: Paris, London, New York. In his paintings, Mondrian tried to translate the energy emanating from these large cities into compositions full of dynamism and rhythm - a rhythm consisting of colored surfaces and an ever-new interplay of lines.

In his later abstract work, Mondrian only used three colors: red, blue and yellow. Not green, because the painter would not like nature. But his considerations of using only the primary colors stem from completely different reasons: in his art Mondrian wanted to capture the essence behind the visible world. And to portray an essence, you needed the most essential elements of the visual language. For Mondrian these were the primary colors, horizontals and verticals. Just as the diagonal was a variation of the horizontal and vertical, green was a variation of the primary colors. So Mondrian did not use both. The rumor that he would not like nature was already circulating in Paris, later also in New York. Mondrian thought this was funny and cultivated this image. While visiting a friend in New York, he wanted to sit with his back to the window so as not to look at the green trees outside. It was a joke, but this was taken very seriously by his host.

Pablo Picasso
When Mondrian takes a trip to Paris in the spring of 1911 to explore the latest art developments, a new art movement is the talk of the town : Cubism. No one knows exactly what it will look like anymore, because the creators, Pablo Picasso and George Braque, have not yet exhibited their new work. Only at the end of 1911, when their works are exhibited for the first time in the Netherlands, Mondrian finds out exactly what they are doing. By the time he finally left for Paris in January 1912, he was particularly impressed by Cubism. So much so that he started experimenting with this visual language himself and made a whole series of Cubist paintings. He writes about this to a Dutch lender: “I am not ashamed to speak of this influence, for I feel it is more open to improvement than to remain content with an imperfection once found, and to think that one is so original! As so many painters think, - And besides that, I am sure to be quite different from Picasso, as it is generally said. ”
Marlow Moss
In the early 1930s, Mondrian was fully experimenting with all kinds of ways to place horizontal and vertical lines in his compositions. He ends up splitting a thick black line into two thinner variants, which are placed close to each other. This double line creates a whole new dynamic in Mondrian's compositions. A new, as he calls it, rhythm arises. To his surprise, Mondrian saw a painting by the British painter Marlow Moss in a yearbook of an artists' association in 1932. He had met her in 1929 and, as he sees in the publication, she appears to do exactly the same with the double line. Mondrian writes her a letter to inquire about her motivation for this use of lines, but does not understand her answer.

Jackson Pollock 
In 1943, the American art collector Peggy Guggenheim, whom he had met in London in 1938, asked Mondrian to sit on a selection committee for a new exhibition in her gallery. During the jury day, Mondriaan Guggenheim points out the special quality of the work of Jackson Pollock, a young American artist who works abstractly. To Guggenheim's surprise, Mondrian calls Pollock's painting Stenographic Figure(c. 1942) one of the best things he has seen in a long time, in both Europe and the United States. Despite being in a completely different style from his own abstraction, Mondrian considers it a promise for the future of abstract art. Pollock's painting is today in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Mondrian was deeply affected by the jazz and grid of Manhattan
Experience was my only teacher; I knew little of the modern art movement. When I first saw the works of the Impressionists, van Gogh, van Dongen, and Fauves, I admired it. But I had to seek the true way alone.
Many appreciate in my former work just what I did not want to express, but which was produced by an incapacity to express what I wanted to express - dynamic movement in equilibrium. But a continuous struggle for this statement brought me nearer. This is what I am attempting in 'Victory Boogie Woogie.'

Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43. Oil on canvas (127 x 127 cm)

I am only satisfied insofar as I feel 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' is a definite progress, but even about this picture I am not quite satisfied. There is still too much of the old in it.

Fritz Glarner, Piet Mondrian in his New York studio with Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43),  Collection RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History

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Piet Mondriaan bij zijn grammofoonspeler in zijn atelier, Parijs, 1934. (foto: Eugene Lux, bron van beide: Gemeente Museum Den Haag)

Piet Mondrian, 353 East 56Th Street, New York, NY, 17 January 1942 by Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian in his First Avenue Studio, New York, 1941

Theo van Doesburg (attributed), Nelly van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Hanna Höch in the studio of Theo van Doesburg (1924) Collection RKD - Netherlands Institute for Art History.

André Kertész, Piet Mondriaan in zijn atelier, Parijs, 1926.

Fritz, Glarner, Piet Mondriaan in zijn atelier, 353 East 56th street, New York, 1943.

May 1934

March 21, 1945–May 13, 1945. Photographic Archive. The Museum of
Modern Art Archives, New York. IN282.14. Photograph by Fritz Glarner.​​​​​​​

Charles Karsten, Mondrian in his Paris studio with Lozenge Composition with Four Yellow Lines and Composition with Double Lines and Yellow, 1933

Piet Mondrian, Paris 1926 by André Kertész

A ajuns în New York in 1940, și pare că a ajuns acasă, înconjurat de jazz, mai multă faimă și unde își amintește de războaie doar de memorial day.
mai jos,  o privire în detaliu, scoate omenescul din dreptunghiurile lui mondrian.

Piet Mondrian, Composition in Brown and Gray, 1913, Oil on canvas (85.7 x 75.6 cm)

Narrator: This is one of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s earliest abstract compositions. Mondrian began by sketching a tree, reworking the image so that the branches were regularized into horizontal and vertical lines. For Mondrian, these lines symbolized the opposing forces governing the world, and they came to structure all of his paintings from this point on. Curator Leah Dickerman:
Curator, Leah Dickerman: If you look at the picture, you see that it becomes much brushier and less defined around the edges. And this was a particular problem for the first generation of abstract artists. How do you define the edge? It was no longer a clean boundary between a thing and the rest. You don't know what's foreground and background. And that was a problem that Mondrian kept working on again and again throughout his career.
Narrator: Mondrian made this painting as a young artist living in Paris, where he saw Pablo Picasso’s cubist work.
Curator, Leah Dickerman: The innovations of Picasso’s artwork in the years from 1910 to 1913, the breaking up and fracturing of forms had sent a shockwave through Mondrian’s mind in the way that it had for so many other artists. And in response to that, Mondrian changed his practice dramatically and set many of the principles that would structure his work for the years to come. But he was also critical of Picasso and said that he didn't go far enough; that he didn't see the logical implications of his own work, and that those implications were abstraction. He continued, from this point on, pushing further and further towards a systematic language for abstraction.
Broadway Boogie-Woogie is the last painting Mondrian completed. In the early phases of its genesis, the two 1942 drawings in the Newman Collection, it still shows many points of coincidence with the painting preceded it, New York City I. In the preliminary studies rhythm of the painting is determined by the long lines of the grid, while other accents indicate the insertion of little bands of unbounded color, characteristic of the enlivening alterations that Mondrian made in New York on the paintings of his last years in Europe. One example of a painting so changed is Composition London, which in its present state - that is, after the changes Mondrian made on it in New York - must be roughly contemporaneous with the Broadway Boogie-Woogie sketches.

In the completion of Broadway Boogie-Woogie the same sort of process took place as in the final reworking of Composition London. The painting seems initially to have been based on lines, mainly yellow, running through it (and in this respect closely related to New York City I) and on some connecting bands of a different color, which brought about a change in direction and proportion. To this basic composition were added small blocks of red, blue, gray, and sometimes the same yellow as the traversing lines, giving the whole a new tempo, an entirely unexpected movement, a bouncing staccato rhythm. This new tempo is perhaps the most striking aspect. Whereas Mondrian's early paintings were built up out of long continuous lines and large planes, which could be compared to whole or half notes in music, there now appear much smaller forms, comparable to eighth and sixteenth notes, contrasting only here and there with larger areas. This innovation, which evidently took place while Mondrian was working on the painting, gives the canvas a new and sparkling vivacity.
One of the reasons for this renewal in Mondrian's work is without a doubt reflected in the title: boogie-woogie music, with its unexpected syncopation of rhythm, is elaborated visually in this painting. Passionately devoted as he was to dancing and rhythm, Mondrian had always been attracted by the latest in ballroom music, advocating the tango and one- and two-steps over the waltz. In the late 1920s he named two paintings Fox Trot A and B after the popular American dance recently introduced into Europe. And boogie-woogie obviously had a profound impact on him. Nevertheless, the most important factor in the origin of this painting, and of the "mutation" in his art, must have been the experience of the daily rhythm of New York itself, the pulsating movement that animates Broadway, especially at night, and, in thorough keeping with the old principles of De Stijl, creates harmony out of the opposition of contraries.
The painting is now owned by the Museum of Modern Art.
Mondrian arrived in New York in 1940, one of the many European artists who moved to the United States to escape World War II. He immediately fell in love with the city and with boogie-woogie music, to which he was introduced on his first evening in New York. Soon he began, as he said, to put a little boogie-woogie into his paintings.
Mondrian’s aesthetic doctrine of Neo-Plasticism restricted the painter to the most basic kinds of line—that is, to straight horizontals and verticals—and to a similarly limited color range, the primary triad of red, yellow, and blue plus white, black, and the grays in between. But Broadway Boogie Woogie omits black and breaks Mondrian’s once uniform bars of color into multicolored segments. Bouncing against each other, these tiny, blinking blocks of color create a vital and pulsing rhythm, an optical vibration that jumps from intersection to intersection like traffic on the streets of New York. At the same time, the picture is carefully calibrated, its colors interspersed with gray and white blocks.
Mondrian’s appreciation of boogie-woogie may have sprung partly from the fact that he saw its goals as analogous to his own: “destruction of melody which is the destruction of natural appearance; and construction through the continuous opposition of pure means— dynamic rhythm.”
Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum
of Modern Art, New York
 (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)

Piet Mondrian, „Compoziție în roșu, albastru și galben”,1937-42, Ulei pe pânză (72.5 x 69 cm)

Piet Mondrian, „Trafalgar Square”, 1939-43, Oil on canvas (145.2 x 120 cm)

Piet Mondrian, Tableau I: Lozenge with Four Lines and Gray1926, Oil on canvas

Piet Mondrian, View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg,1909

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