Elusive & Reclusive: Piet Mondrian

Ocean, 1914

Pier and Ocean, 1915

Fox Trot B

Yellow Red and Blue

Broadway Boogie Woogie

I am Dutch. I can trace my family lineage back almost 500 years. I’m also an introvert and quite like being alone.

Perhaps it is for those reasons that I am enamored with fellow Dutchman Piet Mondrian and his work. Perhaps it’s also because they are visual poetry. It’s more than those reasons, for sure, because there is something so ethereal and yet grounded in his work.

His masterpiece, Broadway Boogie Woogie, is a post WWII triumph of life, color and pure energy. However, in reality, Piet was quite reclusive, living in almost monastic like style. He had chairs and tables made from orange crates, and his walls were almost totally bare in his New York City apartment. He also rarely saw friends. Trying to find a biography that is colorful and full of fun facts about Piet Mondrian isn’t possible; the world simply doesn’t have that sort of information, like with Picasso or Salvador Dali. Instead, however, he left us with some incredible works that, in person, are even more beautiful. We are left to wonder what being Piet Mondrian is like, but for me that is almost as fun as knowing.

Seriously, if you are in New York, check out the MoMA, as it has Broadway Boogie Woogie taking up an entire wall on it’s own. The Kunsthaus in Zurich, Switzerland, has a small, diagonal Mondrian that is charming and sort of disarming, because the paint is slightly cracking and giving it a morbid edge to the timeless line and color.

Unfortunately, his final and unfinished ultimate masterpiece, Victory Boogie Woogie, is in private hands.

(I have lost the source websites for these images! If you know don’t hesitate to tell me!)


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