Many know the painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) as the creator of strict geometric compositions with black and white lines and colour fields in red, blue or yellow. That the Dutchman chose landscapes and other representational motifs in his first decades and often staged them with surprising colourfulness is hardly known. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen shows Mondrian’s path from the early naturalistic paintings to the late abstract works and traces the formal connections that exist between the paintings from five decades.
Image above: Courtesy of Piet Mondrian and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
From the beginning of his artistic career, Mondrian was in search of a pictorial language that expressed the universal, the deepest essence of all that exists. For Mondrian, making this invisible, spiritual dimension visible came about through the perfect balance of all pictorial elements, as he finally found in his Neoplasticist works at the beginning of the 1920s and continued to develop until 1943.
The exhibition, which is mainly devoted to the early paintings, shows how Mondrian’s development builds on one another and approaches the goal of depicting the absolute. This artistic “evolution” can be studied particularly well in its beginnings with landscape motifs. The artist developed his formal language on windmills, lighthouses, dunes and farms, concentrating on the composition of surfaces, vertical and horizontal lines and their rhythms. Both the naturalistic and the late abstract work are the result of an intuitively guided approach and by no means the result of mathematical rationality. An exhibition of the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, and the Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen, Düsseldorf, in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Grabbeplatz 5, 40213 Düsseldorf
Saturday, 29. October 2022 until Saturday, 12. February 2023