Monday, 19 December 2011

Thoughts on Piet Mondrian

Like many people, it is the late works that attract me most, although his whole history is inspiring: from Dutch impressionism to Abstract geometric images of pure intensity.

When you look at the later works, the choice of three (occasionally four) primary colours along with black, grey and white (lots of white) makes a huge impression. It is very important to see some of the works in the original, because only then does the careful colour choice become understood.

Mondrian spent a great deal of effort adjusting the colour and the finish of each colour space.

It is difficult (near impossible) to reproduce this in a print, or on a screen, let alone the difficulty of having one image that reproduces clearly on both screen and paper.

For example, the subtle differences between one white and another, which were probably intentional on Mondrian's part, are difficult to achieve in an image to be printed.

Having described my appreciation of the late works, I find myself equally inspired by the early works which are more figurative: impressionistic pictures of churches, landscapes and seascapes, tending to the abstract through time.

In fact, I find the early works no less geometric than the later works.

Take for example any of his works that represent sand dunes by the sea. The dunes are made to look like waves (and are often painted in blue light). The geometry is that of a repetition of sinusoidal waves, laid upon each other with a regression in space and tone that gives a three dimensional effect.

I have yet to produce anything like that as a digital image, but that is another clear objective. Living Mondrian's life in reverse.