Monday, December 1, 2014

Mondrian's Pipe and Glasses

Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondriaan (March 7, 1872 – February 1, 1944), who changed his name to Mondrian in 1906, was a Dutch painter who evolved a non-representational form of painting which he termed neoplasticism.

Piet Mondrian in 1909

View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, oil and pencil on cardboard, 1909, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Mondrian Self Portrait 1911

Mondrian moved to Paris in 1911, and his first paintings there reflect the influence of cubism.

Gray Tree, 1911, an early experimentation with Cubism

Paintings such as The Sea still contain a measure of representation,

Mondrian the sea 1914

but increasingly, they are dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes.

Mondrian the sea 1914

Composition  10 (Pier and Ocean; plus-and-minus), Piet Mondrian 1915 Oil on Canvas

Mondrian in his Paris studio 1926

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

"Hungarian-born André Kertész had been living in Paris for less than a year when he visited the studio of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s Eyeglasses and Pipe is one of a group of beautiful still lifes that the photographer took that day. Within the austere clarity of these simple geometric forms—common manufactured items that Mondrian used daily—Kertész captured the essence of this master of abstraction, both his aspirations to order and his slight and human divergences from it. The insistent angularity of the stark white table is offset by the sculptural curves of the glasses, bowl, and pipe, curves that were rigorously excluded from Mondrian’s art. Throughout Kertész’s long career, he sought the revelation of the found still life, of an abstract or resonating image discovered in an elliptical view. His signature practice of snaring and fixing these lyrical perceptions was facilitated by his later use of light, portable handheld cameras that enabled him to remain mobile and agile even when making still lifes. Kertész’s work significantly influenced that of his contemporaries Brassaï and Henri Cartier-Bresson."

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2009, p. 277.

Mondrian’s Eyeglasses and Pipe by
André Kertész

In 1938, Mondrian moved to London and later to New York ahead of spreading fascism in Europe.

"Composition No. 10" (1939–42), oil on canvas. Fellow De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg suggested a link between non-representational works of art and ideals of peace and spirituality.

Broadway Boogie-Woogie by Piet Mondrian was completed in 1943 shortly before his death in 1944

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