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Piet Mondrian, Lozenge with Four Yellow Lines, 1933 Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, 1936 Piet Mondrian, Composition Blanc et Rouge B, 1936 Piet Mondrian, Composition with Blue, Red and Yellow, 1935-42
A B C D
Piet Mondrian, Composition  N.12 with Blue, 1937-42 Piet Mondrian, New York City, 1942 Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43 Piet Mondrian, Victory Boogie Woogie, 1942-44 Unfinished
E F G H

´╗┐The tendency observed during the 1920s toward a space of ever-greater rarefaction and synthesis gradually gave way to the opposite tendency, whereby an increasing level of articulation and complexity was progressively reintroduced into the Neoplastic canvases as from 1933.

In Composition with Yellow (1936) (B) the field inside the square form presents a vertical segment echoed by an external horizontal segment in the lower section. The square form appears in a state of unstable equilibrium between an internal vertical and an external horizontal. The linear segment inside the square seems designed to indicate the beginning of a process of interpenetration between square and lines. A process which develops with new works among which Composition en Blanc et Rouge (1936) (C) - see this -
a process which goes on with Composition with Blue, Red and Yellow (1935-42) (D) and Composition N. 12 (1937-42) (E) - see this -.

With New York City (1942) (F) the black lines turn into colored ones. The blossoming of colored lines, anticipated by Lozenge with Four Yellow Lines, constitutes a further development in the process of opening up unity to multiplicity that began with Composition with Yellow (B). The intersection of 23 yellow, red and blue lines generate in New York City (F) a variety of rectangles and squares which constantly change in size, proportion and color - see this -.

While it is unity that alludes to virtual multiplicity in Lozenge with Four Yellow Lines (A), it is multiplicity that alludes to a series of possible unities in New York City (F).

Nonetheless, on observing New York City the eye scarcely has time to identify a more stable relationship before finding itself immersed in the dynamic and continuous flux of lines. When the black lines were illuminated with yellow, red, and blue, the colored planes Mondrian had used in almost all the previous compositions disappeared. In New York City the dynamic aspect conveyed by the lines seems to overwhelm the more measured and constant aspect previously expressed with planes; infinite space prevails over finite and multiplicity over unity. While the need felt as from 1933 had been to open up the unitary synthesis to multiplicity, it was now necessary (1942) to re-establish a greater degree of synthesis and constancy in a space that had undergone considerable multiplication in the meantime and continued uninterruptedly with the lines alone.

In Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43) (G) the interaction between opposite lines give birth to a multitude of small colored rectangles and squares which progressively develop into larger planes - see this -.

The lines become planes and these revert to lines. We have seen the dawn of this process in Lozenge with Four Yellow Lines.

Piet Mondrian, Victory Boogie Woogie, 1942-44, Unfinished

Victory Boogie Woogie, 1942-44 Unfinished, Oil and Paper on Canvas, cm. 126 x 126 (sides), Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Nederlands

 

With Broadway Boogie Woogie the lines visibly become planes and with Victory Boogie Woogie the whole composition is made of colored planes.

For a more detailed examination of Victory Boogie Woogie please read this.

Further details on Mondrian's visual thinking can be found in this web site under mondrian explained by sciam.

 

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