Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Mondrian cup

Happy birthday to me (and to Marty Bax).
I received said cup PLUS a Jeremy Corbyn plush.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Hiccups (and cartoons in general)

Bought today on eBay, a rather faded and yellowed cartoon described as
"This auction is for the original art to the July 18th, 1959 Mister Breger - written and drawn by Dave Breger. Shows out hero at a MOMA like museum looking at Mondrians - Modern Art on wall. King Features Syndicate, Inc. tag at bottom 1959 - zip-a-tone yellowed but art looks clean otherwise. Very light stain at very bottom right. Original Skinner auction tag on back and stamped June 19, 1959 from original engraver in prep for publication. "
 The caption is (including detailed punctuation),
"'...and then,' it says, 'his work was somewhat affected by a three-week attack of hiccups...'"

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Mondrian Studios II

My piece on the studios is here.

In a few days Cees W. de Jong and Marty Bax will publish a book on the subject. Amazon link here.

The Telegraph today published a long piece by Lucy Davies on their web site (though not in the paper edition I bought, or rather got free from Waitrose). Here's the link.

She might deserve a copy of the book.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Library of Congress copies

I have been blowing hot and cold on the question of sending the requisite 2 copies of The Missing Mondrians to the Library of Congress.

Here are a few relevant points from Wikipedia on US copyright:
  1. The book cannot be sold in the US because (although Mondrian died more than 70 years ago) the copyright for four of the illustrations will remain with the Mondrian / Holtzman Trust  until 2022-2051.
  2. Wikipedia on US copyright makes these points:
    • On fair use, nonprofit, educational and factual considerations are in my favour; 
    • Substantially goes against me as I am reproducing the whole paintings;
    • The book will not affect the sale prices of paintings.
  3. On civil penalties, damages are actual or statutory: actual would not apply, but statutory ranges from $750 to $30k, $300k if the infringement is willful. Criminal penalties also apply: up to $500k and 5 years for the first offence, $1M and/or 10 years for subsequent offences.
The case of United States v. LaMacchia 871 F.Supp. 535 (D.Mass. 1994) gave rise to the LaMacchia Loophole, which suggested that there is no copyright infringement where there is no commercial benefit. The No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act) (1997) closed the loophole, but presumably only for software.

My current thought is  to send copies of the new edition (3rd print) which includes the copyright notes and physically cover up the four pictures for which copyright has not expired. An alternative is to rewrite the sections showing the four pictures to use alternative paintings on which it has expired.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Reflecta Classic AF

From a charity shop in Dartford, the box of a Reflecta Classic AF slide projector.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Sticky notes (Monde Riant)

Post-It is a trademark of 3M and so this stylish PMesque set is described in the offer as a sticky note block.

Designed by Assia Qu├ętin & Catherine Denoyelle, called Monde Riant, and available from pa-design. I believe the name translates as something like 'happy world'.

I would have paid the €13 they wanted for the product, but not the €18 cost of posting it to me.

Painting with Lego

There's a lovely film by John Rolph here on YouTube. The process is more complex that you might at first imagine.

The work is B217, Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, and other homages have been celebrated earlier in this blog.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Tomato box

This blog is still home to trivial PM posts and here is Kevin in a tomato box from Lidl.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Missing Mondrians - distribution list

The MM post is becoming overcrowded and so I will log the editions, printings and sendings here.

All copies to date have been printed by Lulu. They provide an excellent service.

date edition printed remaining cost comments
Jul 2011 1st draft 1 1 £2.99 in stock
Aug 2011 2nd draft 1 1 £5.10 + £2.99 more expensive binding
Aug 2011 3rd draft 1 1 £6.09 cover image inexplicably dark
Jul 2012 4th draft 3 2 £16.08 + £4.99 1 to Charles Darwent - 2 in stock: 1 clean, 1 with notes
Dec 2012 5th draft 5 2 £21.44 + £6.99 1 in stock, copies left at Mondrian exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and Turner Contemporary. 1 sent to Luis Diaz.
Aug 2014 1st edition 10 8 £40.20 + £11.49 1 to the British Library, 1 to Nancy Troy. 5 being kept in reserve for the other British Deposits.
Mar 2015 1st edn, 2nd print 10 0 £35.38 + £11.49 Delivered 24th March. It contains a new And Finally section covering one of  my Mondrian Theories.
2Apr15 - copies sent to Mark Caywood and Yvonne Louis.
14Apr15 Copies sent to Marty Bax, E.A. Carmean Jr., Jeffrey Gundlach, V&A. Lucy Howarth (16th).
6Jul15 Copies sent to Blotkamp, Bois and Postma.
Jul 2015 1st edn, 3rd print 10 8 £40.20 + £11.49 Delivered 10th July. It includes a section explaining the copyright position and the references to the Mondrian / Holtzman Trust have been updated appropriately.
13Jul Copy to John Milner. 23Jul one to my sister.

The plan is to send copies to a variety of appropriate parties, notably the dedicatees (Mondrian experts), at least those still alive, and fellow Mondrian enthusiasts. Library copies might be demanded by the five other Legal Deposits and a couple of copies will probably be sent to the Library of Congress (that plan abandoned for copyright reasons). I also leave a copy anonymously in the bookshop of any Mondrian exhibit I visit.

[2Apr15] The next few copies will probably be sent to E.A. Carmean Jr, Marty Bax, the V&A, Lucy Howarth and perhaps Mr. Gundlach.
[13Apr15] 4of5 ready to send but no address found for Lucy Howarth.
I'll have to order another 10 copies, but will add notes on copyright first.
[14Apr15] 4 sent today and I now have Lucy's address.
[21Apr15] time to send off another two copies and then order another ten. Perhaps John Milner and Yve-Alain Bois as I have probable (institutional) addresses for these.
[11May15] I have not yet sent the Milner and Bois copies. I am rather disappointed with the lack of response from the copies sent, however, if I had to choose four recipients to receive replies from, I couldn't do better than Nancy Troy (author of my favourite book on PM), Lucy Howarth (Marlow Moss authority), Mark Caywood (the finest PM homagiste) and Yvonne Louis (a lovely person and author of a lovely book that pertains to PM).
I am currently reading through my PM emails and have learned that I sent a copy of an earlier version to Luis Diaz, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Brighton). I am not certain which version I sent, but it was mailed in July 2014, so it was probably the 5th draft.
[22 May15] The V&A library has acknowledged receipt by email, "We are delighted to add it to the NAL collections, and I have now accessioned and catalogued it."
[1 Jun15] A lovely email from Marty Bax, further details to follow. My glum reaction to the lack of responses may have been premature and unreasonable given the lives other folks lead. Enthused by the replies from the V&A & Marty Bax, I plan, before long, to send two more, update v3 with copyright details and print another 10.
[22Jun15] The third print, containing copyright details, is ready go. Just waiting for a good discount offer from Lulu. [2Jul15] 25% discount on orders of 10+.
[6Jul15] Copies of the 2nd print sent to Blotkamp, Bois and Postma. Letter ready for Milner. I am thinking again about sending a couple to the Library of Congress: is it a copyright infringement only if I charge? Milner copy sent 13Jul.

Copies sent (or just left)
date to edition response
Jul 2012 Charles Darwent 4th draft email 24Jul12
May 2014 Turner Contemporary 5th draft none
Jul 2014 Tate Liverpool 5th draft none
Jul 2014 Luis Diaz, U Brighton 5th draft (probably) email 18Aug14
Jan 2015 British Library 1st edn. letter 4Mar15
Feb 2015 Nancy Troy 1st edn. email 19Mar15
2Apr15 Yvonne Louis 1st edn. 2nd printemail 28Apr15
2Apr15 Mark Caywood 1st edn. 2nd print email 8Apr15
14Apr15 Marty Bax 1st edn. 2nd print email 29May15
14Apr15 E.A. Carmean Jr. 1st edn. 2nd print none
14Apr15 Jeffrey Gundlach 1st edn. 2nd print none
14Apr15 V&A 1st edn. 2nd print email 20th May
16Apr15 Lucy Howarth 1st edn. 2nd print email 21Apr15
6Jul15 Carel Blotkamp1st edn. 2nd print email from Carel 12Jul
6Jul15 Yve-Alain Bois 1st edn. 2nd print
6Jul15 Frans Postma 1st edn. 2nd print
13Jul15 John Milner 1st edn. 3rd print

name dates comments
Marty Bax 1956- we share a birthday, 10th Nov, me in 1954, Marty in 1956. Copy sent 14Apr15, a lovely reply 29th May.
Carel Blotkamp Sent 6Jul15, email 12Jul: has not read it yet.
Cees Boekraad still alive but no contact details found
Yve-Alain Bois 1952- at the The Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies, Princeton, New Jersey. Sent 6Jul15
E.A. Carmean Jr. might now be an Episcopalian minister, see this 1998 NY Times article.Copy sent 14Apr15
Harry Holtzman 1912-1987 Too late.
Lucy Howarth Copy sent 16Apr15, delightful email reply 21st April.
Hans Janssen still alive but no contact details found
Joop M. Joosten 1926- still looking
John Milner at the Courtauld, waiting for the 3rd print, sent 13Jul
Frans Postma Sent 6Jul15
Robert P. Welsh 1932-2000 Too late.

library sent response
British Library Jan 2015 acknowledged 4Mar15
Other deposit libraries
V&A 14Apr15 email 20th May, added to the V&A catalogue
Library of Congress unlikely for US copyright reasons

Other Possibilities
name sent comments
Ellen Lupton author of Indie Publishing
Jenny Newton who taught me to use Adobe InDesign at Greenwich community college
Mark Caywood Apr 2015 Mondrian hero, address provided 20th March, copy sent 2Apr15, fullsome email reply 8th April.
Michael Sciam address requested 16th March and again 12th July 2015.
Jeffrey Gundlach 14Apr15 suggest that he could commission recreations, no reply
Yvonne Louis Apr 2015 author of A Brush with Mondrian, copy sent 2Apr15, email reply 28Apr.

Mondrian copyright

Mondrian died on February 1st 1944 and so the 70th anniversary of his death was in 2014. Copyright to Mondrian's works is/was held by the Mondrian / Holtzman Trust. The linked page states

Reproduction rights and Mondrian
Seventy years after an artist’s death their images enter the public domain and no longer require copyright permission. Piet Mondrian died in February 1944 and after January 1, 2015 his images are in the public domain. In Spain the duration of the copyright is longest, being valid the term of 80 years for authors deceased prior to December 7 1987. In the US copyright protection is extended for images by foreign artists created and first reproduced and published in another country between 1923 and 1978. The extension is for 95 years from that first publication date based on the 1996 Uruguay Round Agreements Act. 35% of Piet Mondrian’s images created between 1911 and 1944 now have copyright expiration dates between 2019 and 2061 depending on the date of first publication. *

We recommend that you contact us about images you wish to reproduce which may be available in Spain in the US or on the internet so that we can check on the copyright status and clear rights if needed.

US copyright and Mondrian
The Trust, which holds the US copyrights in the images of Piet Mondrian, authorizes reproductions of images by Mondrian in publications in English which may be available in the US, and on the Internet.
Licenses are granted for reproductions of Mondrian images incorporated in commercial products such as apparel, home textiles, rugs, furniture and giftware to be distributed and sold in the US. Royalties and advances are paid to the Trust based on a licensing agreement.

Copyright permission
Copyright permission is given for reproductions of one or more Mondrian images in books, auctions catalogues, museum publications, websites, and other editorial uses. Copyright fees are due when permission is granted.

To discuss a product license or copyright permission, click on the contact us button or send an Email to info@mondriantrust.com

* I copied that paragraph from the Trust's page on 20th March 2015. Looking at it again on 27th May, it now states "45% of Piet Mondrian’s images created between 1911 and 1944 now have copyright expiration dates between 2019 and 2061 depending on the date of first publication".

The Trust recently circulated Mondrian scholars with a list of the works affected.

My attention has also been drawn to some interesting material on the College Art Association website, including this document, Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities.

[9th May] There's a New York Times article on the subject here that justifies my decision not to publish.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Missing Mondrians

missing mondrians
I printed 10 copies of my modest, 32-page volume from Lulu at the end of 2014 (£51.69), comfortably past the the 70th anniversary of PM's death when, I hope, copyright on his paintings ran out. The book is not generally available: I have sent out a few of the various draft editions and of the final edition and I leave one anonymously in the bookshop of every Mondrian exhibition I attend.

I sent one copy of the first edition to the British Library under the Legal Deposit scheme. The five other libraries (Wales, Scotland, Dublin, Oxford, Cambridge) can demand a free copy within 12 months of the BL deposit. No sign of that happening. [15Mar15 The BL wrote to acknowledge receipt of the book in a letter received on 14th.]
I might send a copy (actually, two) to the Library of Congress.

I sent a copy to Prof. Nancy Troy, author of The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian, and asked a few questions in my covering letter. [19Mar15] reply received with interesting information on copyright developments - I'll deal with that in a separate entry.

Of the earlier drafts, I gave one to Charles Darwent, author of Mondrian in London: How British Art Nearly Became Modern.
I left a copy in the shop at Tate Liverpool at the Mondrian and his studios exhibition.
I left another at Turner Contemporary at their Mondrian and Colour exhibition.

I should have left copies at the Courtauld show and at the Tate St. Ives Marlow Moss show and should also have given a copy to the curator and MM hero and authority Lucy Howarth, but I had not thought of handing them out  at that time. Lucy is at Tate Britain this Saturday (14th March) discussing MM, but I cannot make that one.

I intend to send a copy to Dr. Marty Bax, co-author of The Complete Mondrian and source of many other Mondrian goodies. I think we share a birthday, but I'm not sure why I think that - I'll send a copy in November anyway.

I'll probably send Mondrian hero Mark Caywood a copy if I can find his address [20Mar15] Mark has provided his Texas address and will be sent a copy next week.
And I promised Michael Sciam a copy some time ago in exchange for his but have not yet sent one.

I'll send a copy to the V&A library as their resources were very helpful in my research for the book and the web site.

It might be worth sending Jeffrey Gundlach a copy, with the suggestion that he could commission recreations.

There is a page on the development of the book on the web site. I wrote the above from memory, but having looked at the page can now add that:

  • I started the book in 2011.
  • I learned a lot from Ellen Lupton's inspirational book Indie Publishing and initially intended to print and bind my own copies but failed to find a suitable duplex inkjet printer. I'd send her a copy, but I'm not sure she would be particularly bothered.
  • A greater debt is owed to Jenny Newton who taught me to use Adobe InDesign at Greenwich community college. I'd send her a copy if I were still in contact.
  • 1st draft August 2011 £3.88 plus postage.
  • 2nd draft later that month (£6.09) and I started painting one of the reconstructions, B149, that would eventually be used on the cover.
  • 3rd draft from Lulu in August 2011 and the 4th in July 2012 - three copies (£21.07): "one to keep, one to work on and one for Charles Darwent who asked for a copy".
  • I noted on another page in December 2012, "The fifth proof has been sent for printing. I think it's done. I have ordered 5 copies of this one (£28.43); there were 3 copies of p4 (one of which I sent to Charles Darwent); and one each of the first three proofs. Eleven copies, in various states, in total. The intention is to publish in February 2014, sending copies to many potentially interested parties and then make it generally available on Lulu."
  • 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 10 = 21 copies altogether.
In fact, as noted above, I 'published' in late 2014 and did not make it generally available. There are two main reasons for that, firstly I am still not sure about copyright and secondly, I rather enjoy restricting availability.

The distribution list has been moved to a separate post. I'll carry on here with notes on the book itself.

[17Mar15] Lulu had a one-day 34% discount offer so I have ordered another 10 copies (£35 plus £11 postage). For the second printing I have added Nancy's Troy's book to the References, together with Christopher Andreae's Winifred Nicholson. In the Introduction, I cite Troy on Mondrian's furniture and Holtzman's Wall Works. I have added a Bonus Feature to the last page, reproducing my Fourth Theory (hence the Andreae listing).

[25Mar15] Reading the 2nd printing today, I found a previously unspotted typo at the end of p.24.

[27Mar15] For the next printing I will have to clarify the copyright position. The only available space in the book was used in the 2nd printing for the  Fourth Theory and I will have to leave that in. I might be able to squeeze enough copyright detail into the introduction.

[14Apr15] I might also try to work a reference to Lawrence Block's The Burglar who painted like Mondrian for the 3rd printing (I think my description of 'rectilinear primary-coloured works' might have come from Block).

[19Apr15] I believe the copyright position is this:
Mondrian died on February 1st 1944 and so the 70th anniversary of his death was in 2014. Copyright to all Mondrian's works was held by the Mondrian / Holtzman Trust (“The Trust”), and for some it still is. The rules are varied and can be complex but those most relevant to Mondrian are:
  • In many countries, copyright ends 70 years after death (or the beginning of the subsequent year).
  • In Spain, this is extended to 80 years for artists who died before 7th December 1987.
  • In the US, for foreign artists, whose images were published in another country between 1923 and 1978, copyright is extended to 95 years from that first publication.
  • The Trust states that “45% of Piet Mondrian’s images created between 1911 and 1944 now have copyright expiration dates between 2019 and 2061”. They have published a list of works still in copyright.
  • Of the extant works shown in this book, four are still in copyright: Fig. 16, B173 (2022); Fig. 18, B154 (2022); Fig. 36, B104 (2051); Fig. 66, B217 (2027).
[22Jun15] On the Block reference (see 14Apr) I reread the book but cannot find any mention of 'rectilinear'. For the latest version (1st edn., 3rd print) I have added a section on copyright and amended all the existing references to that subject. 10 copies ordered 2nd July.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Cielo e Terra

Cielo e Terra
Cielo e Terra Mark Caywood is one of the heros of this site and one of the most accomplished Mondrian Homagistes. He reports that he has recently dug out his old LPs and found a Mondrian Artefact, a 1985 Al di Meola album, Cielo e Terra.

The design seems to be based on B323, Broadway Boogie Woogie.