“Piet Mondrian, one of the founders of the Dutch modern movement De Stijl, is recognized for the purity of his abstractions and methodical practice by which he arrived at them. He radically simplified the elements of his paintings to reflect what he saw as the spiritual order underlying the visible world, creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. In his best known paintings from the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes to lines and rectangles and his palette to fundamental basics pushing past references to the outside world toward pure abstraction. His use of asymmetrical balance and a simplified pictorial vocabulary were crucial in the development of modern art, and his iconic abstract works remain influential in design and familiar in popular culture to this day.
This canvas presents the viewer with the culmination in Mondrian’s life-long pursuit of conveying the order that underlies the natural world through purely abstract forms on a flat picture plane. Broadening the use of his basic pictorial vocabulary of lines, squares and primary colors, the black grid has been replaced by lines of color interspersed with blocks of solid color. This, and his other late abstract paintings, show a new, revitalized energy that was directly inspired by the vitality of New York City and the tempo of jazz music. The asymmetrical distribution of the brightly colored squares within the yellow lines echoes the varied pace of life in the bustling metropolis, one can almost see the people hurrying down the sidewalk as taxi cabs hustle from stop-light to stop-light.Broadway Boogie-Woogie not only alludes to life within the city, but also heralds New York’s developing role as the new center of modern art after World War II. Mondrian’s last complete painting, demonstrates his continued stylistic innovation while remaining true to his theories and format.”
On a first look at Piet Mondrian’s work, I assumed that the pieces would be nothing more than an arrangement of coloured squares and lines, never really considering the possibility that any of them could have much of a backstory or represent anything. However after just a little research I found out that behind Mondrian’s “random” looking compositions, there is often meaning. I love the idea of having something to represent within these artworks and the way that he strips his chosen theme right back to its most simplest form.