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.



Swain
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.
Patrick

Warmack
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.



Ball and Campbell's Master Pieces is probably the most imaginative collection here. Unfortunately they missed a trick in not including Mondrian's self-made furniture.

The book contains several remarkable pieces. The one I'm showing is based on the 1836 Portrait of John and Abigail Montgomery by Joseph H. Davis. Other winners include a sideboard from Picasso's Still Life on a Sideboard and the chair from Matisse's Red Studio.





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