Saturday, 8 December 2012

At the bank

Barclays is, excitingly, offering personalised bank cards. They have understandable restrictions on the images which you can use. I have two cards and so successfully uploaded a family portrait. For the other, of course, I would like a Mondrian.

My first choice was my favourite Mondrian photograph, taken in a London garden, by John Cecil Stephenson in the late 1930s. This was rejected, presumably as it was regarded as copyright, but how they distinguished between this and a snap of what might have been my dad is a mystery.
My second attempt was a Mondrian painting which does not exist in anything resembling the format in which I tried to use it. This was B149 ,  Komposition mit Gelb, Zinnober, Schwarz, Blau und verschiedenen grauen und weissen Tönen, 1922: lost following its inclusion in the Nazis' decadent art exhibition, Entartete Kunst. It is only known in pre-war B&W photographs, but is part of the Reconstruction Project. Rejected by Barclays, perhaps because it, demonstrably, looks like a Mondrian.

My third attempt was to be part of a Mondrian jigsaw of Broadway Boogie-Woogie shown in Toys and Games, but this was not large enough (featured early on the site when space was far more expensive). I thought this might be accepted as it looks as much like a map of Wales as it does a PM painting.

Where next? Any of the highlights on the main Artifacts page would fit the bill, but most would face almost certain rejection: the Camel cigarette packet is a particular favourite but tobacco and alcohol are specifically excluded. Anything from Page 1 of Homages would be good, but, again, would probably be rejected out of hand.

I'll try my stained glass version of Theo van Doesburg's 1917 Cow. Not PM, but it's in the ballpark. Submitted.
[10th Dec] Rejected: no hint is ever given of the clause which has been infringed.

[10th Dec] I found another snap of the jigsaw in the Collections Memorial page. Though the colours are rather strained, I have given it a try. I think I might try the Moondrian plush next and then perhaps the Reitveld chair.

[11th Dec] In some ways I'm a little disappointed to say that the jigsaw was accepted. It's a piece of Mondrian rather than the De Stijl alternatives I had tried and was planning, but I might have preferred the Moondrian.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Mondrian Pastiches

The spur for this page was finding Sally Swain's Great Housewives of Art for 99p at an Oxfam Bookshop in Edinburgh recently. This prompted me to dig out all my similar books and conclude that they fall into two categories:
  • A theme applied to the works of a range of famous painters. In Swain's case the theme is housewives, but animals are more common .
  • A craft applied to the works of a range of famous painters. Here we have woodwork, knitting and, indeed, painting copies.
  • Sitting in the middle is Wehrli's delightful Kunst Aufräumen.

Starting with Sally Swain, as the title suggests, this examines the supporting roles of artists' spouses. It is ironic, or perhaps merely coincidental, that later on the day I found the book, we saw Gaël le Cornec's astonishing performance as Camille Claudel, exploited by Rodin, at the Fringe. There is also a splendid American Gothic in the book.

Baird and Cox
From Arty Cats by David Baird and Vicky Cox, based on Mondrian's last work, B324 Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-1943. There is also a fine Duchamp homage.

Mutts of the Masters, by Michael Patrick. The text is wrong on many levels, but Mondrian  did have a dog.

From William Warmack's Composition with Cat: Lost Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century, an elegant piece. 
Identifying Mondrians tells us that there are nineteen paintings with one red, one yellow and one blue plane, but none with this configuration.

There is also a book comprised entirely of Mondrian pastiches by Allesandro Sanna, which we found in the 2012 Rome show, but I'm not getting that until my birthday.

I regret to say that the Mondrian pastiche is rarely the strongest work in the book, although Warmack's is pretty good.
As noted above, the Wehrli does not fit into either of my categories.

From Ursus Wehrli, a frighteningly clever book concerned with tidying up art. As advised elsewhere, do not buy the English version of this which is out of print and sells for £00s, get the German version, still on sale.

A book of knitting patterns, the results modelled by various minor British TV celebrities of the time, Knitting Masterpieces by Ruth Herring and Karen Manners. There are two Mondrian offerings I will try to identify later.

Magic Carpets, by Melinda Coss and Sylvie Soudan is a surprisingly sophisticated book, offering a Constructivist rug and mentioning Mondrian in that context. The result is more von Doesburg than Mondrian.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mondrian: where are they?

I have listed all Mondrian's works by location. The page is here.
The data is mostly from the Catalogue Raisonné, which was published in 1998, with a few updates and new discoveries which I have come across.
It took a while to decide on how to present the information but geographically by city within country seemed the most useful.
Some refinement and additional research is needed, but the bulk of the data is there.

The map is an apposite image from an unnamed artist, perpetually on sale at ebay.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mondrian's Dog

Mondrian's dog Beppie
The entries on the web site in this context have, to date, only shown Mondrianesque paintings incorporating animals. But. I am reliably informed that Mondrian, while living in The Netherlands, had a pet dog.

I had a beer with Charles Darwent, author of Mondrian in London, today (12th July). He reports that the Mondriaanhuis has a photograph of PM's dog. The name was (something along the lines of, phonetically) Beppé, though being Dutch the option of a more complex spelling was taken. More news when available and apologies for British linguacentricity.

[1st Aug] The Mondriaanhuis has confirmed the story, "Unfortunately we don't have much information on the subject. I can only tell you that Mondriaan owned a dog named Beppie when he lived in Uden en Amsterdam. This would be around 1904-1906. The photo your friend was refering to is not available in digital form and can be found in archives in The Netherlands. If you decide to look for the photo just should know that it isn't Mondriaan and his dog, bus Albert van den Briel and Mondriaan's dog."
Mondrian A382 Isar Harlemia
A382 Isar Harlemia

Mondrian A122 Resting Dog
A122 Resting Dog
Mondrian painted a dog portrait, A382 Isar Harlemia: A Saint Bernard, 1905-08.

And there's a sketch, A122 Resting Dog, c.1898-99

Mondrian A12 Puppy
A12 Puppy

[26Jul12] I have found another, A12 Puppy, 1891. An oil painting, but I only have a B&W image.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mondrian Nudes

Mondrian A647 Evolution
1. Mondrian Evolution, 1911
Mondrian A647 Evolution detail
2. Evolution, detail
Mondrian drew and painted a surprising number of nudes. Probably the best known is 1. Evolution (Evolutie), 1911 (A647). The image on the right (2) is a detail.

Mondrian B7 Large Nude
3. Large Nude, 1912
Image 3 is one of the abstract nudes, The Large Nude, 1912 (B7).

The remaining works are shown in chronological order.

Mondrian A126 Standing Nude Girl with Raised Arms
4. Standing Nude Girl with Raised Arms, c.1900
Standing Nude Girl with Raised Arms, c.1900 (A126), 4.

Mondrian A127 Standing Male Nude
5. Standing Male Nude, 1901
Standing Male Nude, 1901 (A127), 5.

Mondrian A643 Standing Female Nude
6. Standing Female Nude, c.1908
Standing Female Nude, c.1908 (A643), 6.

Mondrian A645  Nude, Bust Portrait
7. Nude, Bust Portrait, c.1909-11
Female Nude, Bust Portrait, c.1909-11 (A645), 7

Mondrian A646  Nude Study for Evolution
8. Nude Study for Evolution, 1911
Nude Study for Evolution, 1911, (A646), 8.

Mondrian B9  Reclining Nude
9. Reclining Nude, 1912
Image 9 is, strangely, classified amongst the abstracts, Reclining Nude, 1912 (B9).

Mondrian B10  Nude
10. Nude, 1914

Mondrian Nude Homages

Following on from Mondrian's own nudes, here is a collection of nude responses to Mondrians taken from my various homage pages. These two entries were occasioned by finding Heidi Mulder's pieces.

Heidi Mulder Mondrian Nude 1,
Heidi Mulder Mondrian Nude 1, Oil/Acrylic on canvas, 100cmx100cm.
From the artist, The painting shows an interaction with Piet Mondrian's work. Composition in Red, Blue and Yellow. The artwork derives from chaos and a lack of order in my own mind and external life resulting in a need to pare back and simplify my world and to become more spiritually connected. Emotion-based watery lines unlike Mondrian's more controlled technique now have been overlapped with an organic, feminine self-portrait.

Heidi Mulder Mondrian Nude 2,
Heidi Mulder Mondrian Nude 2, Oil/Acrylic on canvas, 100cmx100cm.
The aerial view shows the artist looking at herself and has an almost ‘astral’ quality. The white background represents the purity and cleanliness of personal spirit. The lines that intersect through the figure represent that we are not solid beings and that we are indeed spirit inhabiting a physical body. Perhaps the aim of this painting is to describe the interaction of the feminine and masculine or even the interaction of physical and spiritual existence.

Tom Wesselmann 

Monica Sitting with Mondrian

Tom Wesselmann Monica Sitting with Mondrian, a  limited edition print which sells for several thousand dollars. 

Dawn Grant Nude admires Mondrian 

Dawn Grant, who used to sell her works on ebay, painted this commission, Nude admires Mondrian for The Collection.

I have never been sure of the title or artist of this image, but it is somewhere in here: Kompozicija II, 1995. Piet Mondrian, Zoran Naskovski,Bata Krgovic. The link comes and goes but at the time of writing is here.

Ed HernandezA Neoplasticism Tattoo #1

Ed Hernandez, A Neoplasticism Tattoo #1 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Two new Mondrians

In Yvonne Louis's fascinating book A Brush with Mondrian, the author mentions that when Simon Maris's daughter, Mies, died in 1997 (at the age of 87) the artist Paul Gorter found two Mondrians in the Maris family house which are now at the Drents Museum, though not on display for security reasons.

The images are from the museum's catalogue, a scan of which they kindly provided.

The first is Corner of Farmyard (Hoekje van Boerenerf), c.1897/99, black chalk, 31x41.5 cm.

The second is Row of trees along the Gein (Rij bomen langs het Gein), c.1906/07, chalk and watercolour, 59x84 cm.

I cannot find either image in the Catalogue Raisonne, although there are several paintings similar in subject, though not in size, to the watercolour.

And, of course, Yvonne Louis might have a new Mondrian too.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Mondrian on film

I have been on the lookout for film of PM for years. The 2010 Paris exhibition included a film of Mondrian, Calder and a cat, but I have not found internet links to that yet.

Today, though I found 16 seconds of Mondrian with B323Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-1943 on the NOS website.

Back to Calder and cats, this blog suggests that the film was shown in New York in 2011.
And this lists the piece as "Elizabeth Fuller Chapman, aka Bobsy Goodspeed – historic footage with Calder, Duchamp, Matisse, Mondrian..."

Friday, 3 February 2012

Mondrian portrait

Mondrian's A144 is Seated Woman with Arms Crossed, painted in 1898-1900. The subject is thought to be the Dutch writer Til Brugman or Noortje, the wife of Mondrian's artist friend Simon Maris

I love the pose and have sought to encourage others to portray themselves in this way. But no response. There are a few similar Mondrian pieces which I'll add in due course, but apart from that, I'll pursue it through one of me and bits and pieces found elsewhere.

Here's a photograph, taken today, which will provide the basis for a painting. (There's a lucky, unintentional, reflection of one of the Mondrian windows in my specs.)

Then we have Aaron Shikler's 1970 portrait of J.F. Kennedy.

And a 1st-2nd century Roman mask from the British Museum.

Any other contributions will be welcomed.

Here's the original web page.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Iconic homage

Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930 is, perhaps the best known Mondrian abstract: designated B217 in the Catalogue, it is almost identical to B219 and to an uncatalogued gouache. The three are owned by the Kunsthaus, Zürich, thFukuoka City Bank and the Triton Foundation respectively.

Nick Blackburn

Given its iconic status, it is commonly the subject of homages and I'll show some here.

The first is mine from around 2002.

The second is an intriguing piece, Kompozicija II, from a Serbian web site which keeps disappearing, then popping up elsewhere. Here's the link at the time of writing.

Alexie Sayle
Alexie Sayle used the piece in his BBC Series. The sketch explores the assertion that everyone's first job is (and I quote) "shite". He covers Malcolm X, Joyce, Ghandi and PM: "The minimalist painter Piet Mondrian was a highly unsuccessful court artist for German television. This picture is entitled Scuffle breaks out between prosecuting counsel and defendant." A better image would be nice.

An advertisement for the Investors' Chronicle in The Spectator. Tinkered with and inverted, but still B217.

Katie Jackson
From a long and frequently brilliant series of remakes on booooooom, the suitcase remake is by Katie Jackson.

And finally, from the book Tidying Up Art by Ursus Wehrli. This is out of print and is set at silly prices on second-hand sites (e.g. £160 even from Oxfam). I don't believe anyone has ever paid more than £10 for it, but once one seller generates a random number, the others seem to follow suit. There is a German edition, Kunst aufräumen, which is sensibly-priced and might have the same contents, so I'll buy one of those and see.
Ursus Wehrli
I can confirm that the German edition contains the image and that it references the Kunsthaus Zürich work, B217. There are many other fine pieces covered, well worth buying. 

Heidi Mulder

A new addition in July 2012 is Heidi Mulder's Mondrian Nude 1. Full details in the Nude homages post.