Tag Archive | Piet Mondrian

Modern Art Monday Presents: Expansion in Four Directions By Max Bill

Expansion in Four Directions
Photo By Gail

This painting, Expansion in Four Directions (1961 – 62), shares its lozenge shape and geometric divisions of color with many paintings by Piet Mondrian, whose work Max Bill (19081994) collected and in whom he was greatly interested. Bill trained at the Bauhaus in the 1920s under Josef Albers and was an architect and graphic designer as well as an artist. In his work, he aimed to transcend personal artistic expression to achieve universal communication, and to this end he used mathematics as a neutralizing compositional device.

The subject of an exhibition at the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo in 1950 and winner of the grands prize for sculpture at the Sao Paulo Bienal in 1951, he helped to introduce a generation of Latin American artists to European geometric abstraction. Bill designed the catalogue for a 1955 Mondrian exhibition at the Zurich Kusthaus and lent to it three Mondrian paintings in his collection.

Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ad Reinhardt, Number 22

Ad Reinhardt Number 22
Photos By Gail

Ad Reinhardt (19131967)  studied both Eastern and Western art history at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He deepened his understanding of Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies by attending the lectures of Zen teacher Daisetz Suzuki at Columbia University. Number 22 (1949) shows Reinhardt fusing Eastern and Western traditions by using calligraphic brushwork inspired by Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in a gridded composition influenced by those of de Stijl cofounder Piet Mondrian.

Ad Reinhardt Number 22 Detail
Number 22, Detail

In classical East Asian painting, the fragility of paper wet with ink limits the artist’s ability to rework the composition. The sturdier canvas support and slower-drying oil paints used throughout much of the history of Western painting allows artists to highlight various revision and layering techniques. Although he worked in oil on canvas, Reinhardt chose to restrain himself and not rework his painting’s surface, in keeping with Asian calligraphic traditions. The result is a far more controlled manner of gestural painting than those of the Abstract Expressionists.

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, Men and Machine

Stuart Davis, Men and Machine
Photo By Gail

Heralded for his abstract visual evocations of jazz, Stuart Davis‘s art also responded profoundly to the industrial age. Men and Machine (1934) features two men standing before a schematically rendered structure with their backs to the viewer. Likely representing a construction site with the foreman and investor looking on, the painting alludes to New York’s interwar construction boom. Highlighting the degree to which industrialism was associated with masculinity, Davis’s painting, consisting of primary colors on a white background, also testifies to the artist’s respect for Piet Mondrian.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Modern Presents: Burgoyne Diller, Second Theme

Second Theme
Photo By Gail

Influenced by Piet Mondrian’s work from the 1910s and 1920s, American artist Burgoyne Diller (1906 – 1965) devised his own abstract formats in the 1930s. Divided into groups called “First,  Second, and Third Themes,” Diller’s three series explore the sense of movement generated by different arrangements of geometric forms within a square.  Second Theme pictures, such as this one (1938 -40), feature a grid system with rectangular bands of differing widths extending across the canvas.

Photographed the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Play a Game of Pong Set Inside a Mondrian Painting

Mondrian Pong

Over at digital arts community B3ta, a user challenged others to create images of fake video games based off of famous artworks. The results are pretty phenomenal, but one user who goes by HappyToast envisioned a version of Pong set inside a Piet Mondrian painting. After seeing the GIF, designer Kristiana Hansen instantly set out to program the real thing. So here you have it: 2 Player MondriPong 1.2.

Thanks to Boing Boing Via Colossal!

Modern Art Monday Presents: Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Estructura En Color

Estructura En Color
Photo By Gail

Made at height of the heated discussions on abstraction that took place around the artists’ group Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square), which Torres–Garcia co-founded, Estructura En Color (Color Structure), 1930 is remarkable for the way it simultaneously corresponds to and since is it self from “pure” abstraction as it was conceived at the time. The structural grid of horizontal and vertical lines Torres-Garcia employs is similar to the compositional mode often practiced by Neo-Plasticists such his Piet Mondrian, but it is not nearly as “rational” as it is  in contemporaneous work by Torres-Garcia’s younger peers. By multiplying the grid’s  rectangles Torres-Garcia made a work that instead relates more closely to the stained-glass windows he designed early in his career while working at the Sagrada Familia church under architect Antoni Gaudi.  Likewise,  although blue, red, yellow, and white are signature colors of abstraction in the style of Mondrian, Torres-Garcia’s versions are voluntarily darker, earthier, and more somber. With these variations in color and form, his work boldly breaks away from the orthodoxy of modern abstraction.

 Photographed  in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Oval with Color Planes I

Mondrian Composition in Oval
Photo By Gail

Although he painted in both realist and abstract styles during his career, Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is best known for his grid paintings of vertical and horizontal black lines with the three primary colors. Composition in Oval With Color Planes I (1914) follows a grid pattern but is somewhat unique in that Mondrian used a pastel color palette.

According to experts, “the geometry of this composition, made two years after Mondrian moved from Holland to Paris, is directly based on sketches of partially demolished buildings, with exposed floors, chimneys and patches of wallpaper. Mondrian believed that horizontal and vertical lines, such as those he used here, expressed an underlying, universal order.”

This piece was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection in 1950.

Mondrian Storage Bins

Mondrian Storage Bins
Photo By Gail

Piet Mondrian-Inspired Storage Bins Spotted at The Container Store on 6th Avenue and 19th Street. Artsy!

Must See Art: Mark Kostabi at Martin Lawrence Galleries

Mark Kostabi Pianist

All Art By Mark Kostabi, All Photos By Gail

Our first post-Sandy art excursion turned out to be the party of the week, as modern/contemporary painter Mark Kostabi debuted a series of colorful new works at the Martin Lawrence Galleries in Soho. The red wine flowed freely (more about that later) last evening, as the gallery quickly filled with friends and fans of Kostabi, all excited to see the artist’s latest series of visually engaging paintings done in his signature style. Geoffrey and I had a blast looking at all of Mark’s awesome art, chatting with Mark (who is quite generous with sharing his opinion that the Two G’s are the “Best Bloggers in New York” – which, true) meeting new art lovers and getting drunk for free.

Here are some photos I took last night with my new iPad!

Mark Kostabi Card Players

Looking at the painting above, one fan was overheard commenting that it would be “really cool” if Kostabi would “Paint some faceless dogs playing poker,” which I thought was hilarious, but, Mark, if you are reading this review, how about it?

As an aside: I love how in this painting Mark references both art icons Piet Mondrian and The Guggenheim Museum, because that is how he rolls.

Spill The Wine

This is a picture I took of my spilled wine after I put it down on the floor so I could take a picture of the statue below, and Geoffrey kicked it over. Fortunately, the gallery employees were not angry, and no art was harmed in the spill.

Mark Kostabi Statue

I think I would also have a headache if little men, or “baby men,” whatever, were crawling all over me.

Mark Kostabi Dancing Couple with Dollar Signs

In this painting of a couple dancing, you can see Mark’s obvious stylistic references to Andy Warhol, who rules.

Mark Kostabi Keith Herring

I believe it is safe to guess that this work was influenced by the late, great Keith Herring.

Mark Kostabi Red Nudes

I wish my ass looked that good.

Mark Kostabi Girl at Mirror

There is not much that I do not love about this painting.

Martin Lawrence Galleries is located in Soho at 457 West Broadway (just south of Houston) in NYC.

Art on Art at Adam Baumgold Gallery

Suicide By Modernism By Mark Kostabi (2005/2011) Photo By Geoffrey Dicker

The Adam Baumgold Gallery on New York’s Upper East Side is currently hosting a group show called Art on Art, in which each artist references other artists or artworks in his or her own creation. This makes for a diverse collection full of humorous touches that inspired a lot of lively conversation at last night’s opening. My favorite painting in the exhibit is Mark Kostabi’s Suicide by Modernism, which has the artist’s unmistakable imprint while managing to reference nearly a dozen of his famous peers. Suicide By Modernism very cleverly depicts one of Kostabi’s iconic figures hanging limp from the arm of an Alexander Calder mobile, from which highly recognizable works by Piet Mondrian, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Yves Klein also dangle. Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel sculpture appears, overturned, in the painting’s foreground. Mark Kostabi was at the opening party and he seems like a really cool guy. It was nice to be able to shake his hand and tell him how much I loved this painting in particular, and his work in general. Mark Kostabi!

You can read the exhibit press release and see a preview of many of the included paintings, drawings and sculptures online at Adam Baumgold Gallery Dot Com. I’d recommend making the trip uptown, however, to see the works in person, and make sure you take a walk up or down Park Avenue while you’re in the neighborhood to see Will Ryman’s “Roses” sculpture installation (57th to 67 Streets on the Avenue’s central traffic island), which are just amazing, and on display only until May 31st.

Art on Art runs through June 25, 2011, at Adam Baumgold, located at 60 East 66th Street (Between Park and Madison Avenues) in NYC. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM. For additional information, please contact Adam Baumgold at (212) 861-7338, or email abaumgold@aol.com.