How to change the perception of beauty through compositions where recognizable figures don’t exist? How to talk of the Universe´s harmony rules through geometric colored lines and forms? How does Mondrian, through the language of lines, straight angles, primary colors and neutral colors, trap our attention and connect us to his tune?
The most modern out of the modern artists, Piet Mondrian, achieved thanks to a language of equilibrate composition and asymmetric rhythm, a combination between art, matter and spirit to evoke the invisible through his paintings and capture the universal harmony that resonates in the viewers interior. His proposal has gone far beyond the pictorial and further than the time where it was conceived, it has been an endless source of inspiration in architecture, design and fashion.
This year, the exhibit “Mondrian and De Stijl” at the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum (MNCARS), reunited pieces of the work of Mondrian and of some of his fellow movement artists. The digital sample “The Mondrian Case” of the March Foundation, is also able to emphasize the way the spectator observes and listens as it is articulated in new spaces where the artwork is as free as its spirit, it reminds us that through his work, he achieves his objective: to transform the visual setting of the human being, because the contemporary world is impregnated with mondrianism. He has really shaped the direction of contemporary art.
What does Mondrian sound like?
If it was music, Mondrian would sound as a firm compression of visual rhythm, harmony. If you stay for a while observing his lines, a world of straight angles open and the colors seem to come out of the picture and transform into a musical composition. Some could sound like academic contemporary music, like Composition A (1932). The seven geometric figures would broadcast a fusion of metrics in which the black would lead the rhythm. The predominant red rectangle would resonate low-pitched and with weight, and the white squares would extend and hold the rumbling. To the right, the blue rectangle vibrates in dialogue with the red, light and weightless. In New York City (1941), the lines that cross the composition change in respect to other works. Something happens; the rhythm becomes more dynamic, almost like jazz, intermingled with the bustle of the streets of a big city.
Vibrant and crazy joy, Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942-1943), appears to sound like the music Mondrian liked to dance. It omits black and breaks the uniform color bars into multicolored segments. Bouncing into each other, these small blinking color blocks create a vital rhythm, an optical vibration that jumps from intersection to intersection like the traffic of the New York streets. A perfectly calibrated image of interlayered white and grey blocks that sound like freedom, hectic rhythm, modernity. Maybe Mondrian liked to boogie-woogie with the blues because he identified similar intentions of this music to his paintings “Melody destruction is equivalent to the destruction of pure media, this is dynamic rhythm”.
Art is in each moment detector of movements
An artist is not isolated. Mondrian, as well as studying and learning from the great masters in the history of art, was an artist of its time and through artistic experimentation had a dialogue with artistic peers like Kandisky and Malévich, as well as with the member of De Stijl (The Style). A magazine created by the painter and critic Theo van Doesburg, and an authentic platform of idea diffusion for new plastic art (Neoplasticism) and the development of abstract art at international level. They chased a world that thanks to the collaboration between disciplines could abolish the hierarchy between arts. A change of paradigm towards new focuses in art and design.
Mondrian was born in 1872, in a town of Utrecht to the light of a candle. And died in New York in 1944, under fluorescent lights. He lived a moment of many changes. With the start of the Century, numerous events announced winds of convulsion and radical transformation in the political, social, moral, religious, scientific and traditional order of things, customs, and of course art. Maybe because art is in each moment a detector of movements, of new flows. Like war which destroyed everything in an abrupt manner, the decoupling with the established order in art was manifested against what seemed evidently undisputed: the visual rupture, the displacement of the recognized and the interest for color. And this is how Mondrian, an icon of art, was able to change the world a bit through his works, decoupling from the known and putting upfront a novel proposal that demonstrated that a painting could be free away from its frame and other influences, and even determine its own setting to be presented. The visual art of the XX Century announced the birth of a new form of abstract geometric art that knew how to conquer the world and configured moderdinity.
Photography: Óscar Rivilla
Translation: Covadonga López-Fanjul
Hair&makeup: Sara Trueba
Video Post Production: Iury Lech
Art Direction: Óscar Rivilla and Carolina Verd
Fashion: La Musaraña Second Hand