Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) probably produced the most easily recognised style of all painters. His trademark grids of horizontal and vertical black lines on a white background with squares or rectangles of primary colours immediately identify the artist. And yet Mondrian, in his early career, was a traditional Dutch landscape painter. Gradually his work became increasingly abstract, particularly after he became familiar with the Cubist paintings of Picasso and Braques. Any hint of figurative representation disappeared and the geometric abstract style evolved. Balance, rhythm and harmony became dominant features. Mondrian’s mature works are generally accepted as the first examples of purely abstract paintings.
I enjoyed creating my own ‘in the style of Mondrian’ image using Photoshop.
‘It is Duchamp who is to blame for the whole “is it art?” debate. As far as he was concerned the role in society of an artist was akin to that of a philosopher; it didn’t even matter if he or she could paint or draw. An artist’s job was not to give aesthetic pleasure – designers could do that; it was to step back from the world and attempt to make sense or comment on it through the presentation of ideas that had no functional purpose other than themselves.’ Will Gompertz
It was a cold windy morning (the second day of ‘summer’!) The model is clearly not dressed for the conditions – her golden crown offers little protection! – but this is a professional shoot and there is a deadline to be met. After much cajoling she ventures into the very edge of the sea, but I think her posture betrays her feelings.
It is more than twenty years since this photograph was taken of an old chair, abandoned in the corner of an otherwise empty attic. The original was in black and white.
I have returned to the photo on numerous occasions during the intervening years and it has had several re-incarnations – frequently ‘influenced’ (as in this instance) by Van Gogh’s famous painting.