Mondrian Art

 Choose one painting by Mondrian from the years 1913-1916, such as Composition in Oval with Color Planes 1 (1914) (http://www.moma.org/media/W1siZiIsIjE1MTAzOCJdLFsicCIsImNvbnZlcnQiLCItcmVzaXplIDIwMDB4MjAwMFx1MDAzZSJdXQ.jpg?sha=735a4760bec3e831) and one painting from the period 1921-30, such as Composition No. III, with Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black (1929)(https://www.artnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Mondrian_Composition-No.-III-Composition-with-Red-Blue-Yellow-and-Black.jpg). There are also two Mondrians from the 1921 and 1935 currently on view in the AIC(https://www.artic.edu/collection?artist_ids=Piet+Mondrian&is_on_view=1), which you are encouraged to write about. In both cases, obviously, opt for paintings you can find in good color reproduction online or in books. Write an essay explaining Mondrian’s intentions in both paintings. You will be thinking about how his work changed over time. By all means consult the writings by Mondrian in our Dropbox(https://www.dropbox.com/sh/chtmu9hb15o6bjz/AABuflbxwdc1OsArK1y81xxoa?dl=0), but don’t assume they are transparently the key to an understanding of what Mondrian, in practice, is up to. Trust your eyes. Try to describe each picture’s visual language as specifically and concretely as you can, and let the description lead you to a sense of Mondrian’s “attitudes” or approach to the world. If you like, you can stage the essay as a dialogue between the Mondrian of 1914-16 and the Mondrian of the 1920’s. This may help you to dramatize the differences of opinion. But if you choose this form, avoid (1) getting bogged down in reproduction, or near reproduction, of Mondrian’s own words, as found in the Reader [put the arguments in your own words, and above all argue from the evidence of the pictures], and (2) too much comic scene-setting, over-the-top trading of insults, etc., etc. If you quote or paraphrase an argument from any on the readings, indicate that you are doing so, by means of a footnote.

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