(K. Brent Tomer),
WHEN he was 68, Piet Mondrian arrived in New York, having fled Nazi-occupied Europe. He was celebrated by such 20th-century American greats as Ad Reinhardt, Jasper Johns and Mark Rothko, who called him the most sensual of artists. Mondrian had an even more obvious impact on design, paving the way for Gerrit Rietveld’s “Red Blue Chair”, Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 shift dress, packaging for L’Oréal, a cosmetics company, and even Nike trainers. Along with Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky, the Dutch painter is one of the fathers of abstract art.
What is less well known about Mondrian is that he only developed his signature style when he was in his 50s. The shift came after a long and focused process of searching and experimenting with paint, form and composition, which had begun when he was still in his teens and living in his native Netherlands, where the reigning genre was sombre landscape paintings dotted with cows and windmills.
An important new show, “The…Continue reading