View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers∞ Piet Mondrian 1909 Oil on Canvas Museum of Modern Art
Composition in Oval with Color Planes 1∞ Piet Mondrian 1914 Oil on Canvas Museum of Modern Art
Composition with Color Planes and Gray Lines∞ Piet Mondrian 1918 Oil on Canvas Private Collection
Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray∞ Piet Mondrian 1921 The Art Institute of Chicago
Lozenge Composition with Red, Black, Blue, and Yellow∞ Piet Mondrian 1925 Oil on Canvas Private Collection
Composition 10 (Pier and Ocean; plus-and-minus)∞ Piet Mondrian 1915 Oil on Canvas Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo the Netherlands
Composition A- Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue∞ Piet Mondrian 1920 Oil on Canvas Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Rome
Composition with Blue, Yellow, Black, and Red∞ Piet Mondrian 1922 Oil on Canvas Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Composition with Yellow Patch∞ Piet Mondrian 1930 Oil on Canvas Düsseldorf Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red∞ Piet Mondrian 1937 1942 Oil on Canvas Tate Gallery London
Rhythm of Black Lines∞ Piet Mondrian 1935 Oil on Canvas Düsseldorf Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Vertical Composition with Blue and White∞ Piet Mondrian 1936 Oil on Canvas Düsseldorf Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
“All painting – the painting of the past as well as of the present – shows us that its essential plastic means we are only line and color.”
Dutch painter Piet Mondrian began his career firmly rooted in the representational form, favoring naturalistic and impressionistic landscapes. His style was influenced by Picasso and Braque as it morphed into his signature non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. It was through this form that he became an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement.
Biography.com, “Piet Mondrian”
“Intense involvement with living things is involvement with death. If you follow nature, wrote Mondrian in 1920, you have to accept ‘whatever is capricious and twisted in nature’. If the capricious is beautiful, it is also tragic: ‘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. Let us recognise the fact once and for all: the natural appearance, natural form, natural colour, natural rhythm, natural relations most often express the tragic . . . 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 could find a repose to contemplate in natural things so long as he could see them with their energy held in check, as with the chrysanthemums. The object was tolerated so long as it seemed to contain its energy. Looking at the trees, he recognised the forces flowing out of them – so that the tendency towards the centrifugal first appears among these images – felt the need to release those forces from objects and objectify them in another way. Attachment had to be transferred from natural objects to things not subject to death. To an artificial tulip, which would be everlasting. To lines which were not lines tracing the growth in space of a tree but were lines not matched in nature, lines proper to art, lines echoing the bounding lines of the canvas itself.
“Mondrian wanted the infinite, and shape is finite. A straight line is infinitely extendable, and the open-ended space between two parallel straight lines is infinitely extendable. A Mondrian abstract is the most compact imaginable pictorial harmony, the most self-sufficient of painted surfaces (besides being as intimate as a Dutch interior). At the same time it stretches far beyond its borders so that it seems a fragment of a larger cosmos or so that, getting a kind of feedback from the space which it rules beyond its boundaries, it acquires a second, illusory, scale by which the distances between points on the canvas seem measurable in miles.
” ‘The positive and the negative are the causes of all action … The positive and the negative break up oneness, they are the cause of all unhappiness. The union of the positive and the negative is happiness.’ The palpable oneness of the solitary flower or tower, being subject to time and change, had to give way to the subliminal oneness of a vivid equilibrium.”