Abstract Painting: Order? Randomness?

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Mondrian’s Abstract Paintings Not as Rigid as You Might Think

Piet Mondrian

Looking at the abstract paintings of Piet Mondrian one could be forgiven if you thought his style was purely a rigid set of rules and theory. Certainly many of his contemporaries held that view.

Born in 1872, the Dutch painter was one of the founders of De Stijl, the Dutch modern movement.
CON-COLLOQUEMONDRIAN_full

It was in the 1920s that he reduced his works to what we recognize most as his work: straight, vertical and horizontal lines punctuated with fields of primary colors. His paintings made use of asymmetry and simplicity.

For Mondrian, painting was to reflect the purity and spirituality of nature. This may sound odd when you look merely at the surface of his work, mistaking his abstraction for separation from nature.

“I wish to approach truth as closely as is possible, and therefore I abstract everything until I arrive at the fundamental quality of objects.” ~Piet Mondrian

In his later years, his work shifted, and he even (imagine the horror) included horizontal lines in some of his paintings. He eschewed his previous tenet of painting on a single plane and began to suggest depth and layers in his paintings.

Viewing a retrospective of Mondrian’s work can be quite illuminating for any art lover or student.

Modrian’s early works were less abstract and more impressionistic in style. Later in life, his work again regained some of the emotion that many found lacking during his middle life.

It can most assuredly be said that Mondrian stood out from his peers. He was unique in his style and his thought. And he was, and his works continue to be, a powerful influence on abstract painters of today.

Piet Mondrian: Tableau no. 2 Composition no. V


To learn more about Piet Mondrian

Thanks to Ross Wolfe and Charnel House for the original article which you can read here.

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