ART 234 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Piet Mondrian, Theosophy, Centrifugal Force

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10 Oct 2016
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Mondrian #9
Tuesday, October 4
Piet Mondrian and De Stijl
Mondrian 1872-1944
-Dutch and from a calvinist house hold
while the Dutch can be crazy they really do have a sense of regularity and order
-founded De Stijl: this is the solution, this is the way to go
a utopian outlook
so narrow
-a Utopian artist
-considered being a minister before art
-very interest in theosophy
-1911-1914 in Paris and witnessed the breakthroughs of cubism
-1914-1917 he was in Holland and trapped there by the war
-most of his career was spent in the Netherlands
-would reduce the world to horizontals and verticals
horizontal is restful contemplative part, and stasis and death
the verticality is life, activity, alertness
the intersection between those two
-looking for a generic approach where titles don’t matter
!1
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Mondrian #9
Red Tree 1909, Hague
-strong symbolist movements in the Netherlands int he 19th century
-he takes a recognizable object and lifts it out of reality to the point where it has
symbolic intent
Still life of Ginger pot 1911, The Hague
-starts with a simplified still life but the direction he takes it in is much more abstract
-he is very aware of what Picasso does
-he outlines the objects more than breaks them apart
-the areas that are more fractured are on a regularized grid of horizontals and verticals
!2
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Mondrian #9
Composition VII, 1913
-the grid becomes the dominate feature
-center centrifugal force
Composition 1916
-grid continues to play a role but its more open
-works with larger areas of color
Composition, 1930, Zurich
-very carefully painted
-emphasis on geometry and order
-geometry is a system we devised to
understand the world, it is a rational system
-reduces the work to the primary colors
-going back to basics
-lack of framing edges suggests an expansion of
!3
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