Mondrian and De Stijl at the Centre Pompidou, Paris


The Centre Pompidou in Paris is showing a retrospective of the work of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944).

He spent the largest part of his career, from 1912 to 1938, in Paris, with a break between 1914 and 1919.

There are many works from the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, as well as from other museums and private collections from all over the world. The show is complemented with drawings, photos, letters and other documents.

In a splendid film fragment from 1943 we see Calder, Duchamps and Mondrian playing around together with a cat at the MOMA in New York.The retrospective ends with the famous painting, New York City, from 1942 (above picture). The painting is the link to the chapter on De Stijl.

New world, new art

De Stijl was a movement that played an important role in the development of abstract art, but it also influenced architecture, design and the graphic arts.

The movement began with a periodical, founded in 1917 by the Dutch artist, critic and architect, Theo Van Doesburg. Along with Mondrian, Rietveld and the Belgian Georges Vantongerloo they set out their theories about a new world and new art in the journal. 


The key piece in the exhibition is the reconstruction of Mondrian’s Paris studio, which had to make way for the construction of the Montparnasse Tower. The studio was decorated like a sort of three-dimensional painting with horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours. The books lying neatly arranged on the cupboard, with a sort of white wrapper around them, are a nice example of Mondrian’s obsession with abstract form. 

Mondrian in TLC

Several articles on Mondrian were published in The Low Countries Yearbook. Find the list here.

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