Mondrian

John Milner, Author Abbeville Press $65 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55859-400-5
Piet Mondrian, the painter of architectonic grids who seemed to reject nature, had early on steeped himself in the study of landscapes and flowers. His haunting pictures of farms, windmills and factories treat nature as a dynamic interplay of forces. Influenced by Helena Blavatsky's Theosophical movement, the fastidious Dutch artist of strict Calvinist upbringing turned to mystical introspection, producing symbolist images like Dying Sunflower (1908). After experimenting with pointillist color and spare seascapes, Mondrian, who believed he had been reincarnated many times, moved to Paris and discovered cubism, which helped him to depict the underlying rhythm and structure of what he saw. From there it seems but a hop to Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1943). Milner ( Vladimir Tatlin and the Russian Avant-Garde ) has produced a masterful account of Mondrian's artistic and spiritual growth, a marvelously illustrated monograph that gives us Mondrian whole--as mystic, philosopher and individualist. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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