Thursday, January 29, 2009
Some thoughts on Mondrian
Detail, Mondrian, Composition in Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Gray, 1921 (MOMA).
(Click for larger image).
I've been thinking about Mondrian lately and how touchingly intimate his classic paintings are. In spite of the myth, I experience them very much as hand-made objects. The brushwork is obvious (see above), and even though the paintings are geometric and harmoniously balanced there's an arbitrariness about them such that you know a human being has made willful decisions here -- they're not experienced as pre-determined or random. Even his colors aren't truly primary but veer off into secondary ranges. All this and the small scale, and even the hand-made frames (see top), make the work seem so hand-made, so human.