Archive for March 26th, 2022

Piet Mondrian Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942-43

Piet Mondrian- Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43

Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.

–Piet Mondrian

I came across the words above from Piet Mondrian and it immediately struck a chord. It’s something that relates to my own work, something I have been trying to say for years. It’s about how I see my work, about it being less concerned with what it portrays — the concrete subject of the picture, as Mondrian says– but more about the linework, colors, and shapes and the relationships between them. I would throw texture into the mix as well.

For me, my feelings on and reaction to every painting of mine comes down to how these elements come together regardless of the object that is being portrayed on the surface.

The Red Tree paintings, for example, are always about more than the tree and the surrounding landscape.

It’s about the dance of color, lines, shapes, and texture. The mixture of these elements have almost infinite potential for expression, each with its own level of depth.

That’s why I am seldom concerned with repetition of subject matter. Each piece is comprised of multiple levels and never quite the same. A Red Tree painted now may resemble a Red Tree from years ago but if you look at the elements of both you will see a different story.

piet-mondrian-dutch-1872-1944-title-composition-in-red-blue-and-yellow-1937-42Colors change and evolve. Texture and surfaces change. Shapes change. Perhaps the only constant is the linework, which serves as as sort of armature, to use a sculptural term, around which the other elements are applied.

Kind of like the lines in Mondrian’s signature work that we know so well, like the piece shown here.

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) had a career that saw him involved with most of the great art movements of the Modern era. He created work in his long career that was Impressionist, Cubist, Fauvist, Expressionist, and Abstract. But because we have come to identify him solely with the works shown here, one would be hard pressed to identify some of this earlier work as being from Mondrian.

It was an interesting and continual evolution, one that I wrote about here several years ago. I am including a video from that post today that clearly shows this evolution, all set to the music of Philip Glass.

Take a look. I think you’ll see how his linework acted as the “armature” in his work as well.

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