Piet Mondrian (Dutch Painter)
Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter who developed the style of Neo-Plasticism.
Brief biography of artist
Piet Mondrian (born 7th March 1872) was a Dutch artist. Mondrian learnt to paint at an early age and it proved a welcome escape from his meagre beginnings as one of several children born to a detached teacher father and a frequently sickly mother. Mondrian began to study art formally in 1892, though his education was frequently interrupted by necessity over the years that followed; there were times when he was forced to return home to aid with the care of his family.
Early in his career, Mondrian entered numerous art competitions in his native country, all of them unsuccessfully. His artistic style underwent several dramatic transformations during his career, including traditional representation and the more abstract works with which he is most readily associated, which he came to refer to as Neo-Plasticism. A
n important member of the De Stijl art movement, Mondrian’s work rejected the artistic conventions of his time, instead focusing on the abstract simplicity of right angles, geometric shapes, straight lines and primary colours. Though this had not been the case originally, he was eventually able to make a good living through his art. Mondrian died on 1st February 1944.
Guide for collectors
Mondrian’s work has a definite appeal to collectors, both for his Neo-Plasticism artworks and his more conventional representations. One of his works, ‘Composition with black, red, grey, yellow and blue’, dated 1920, sold for £10,845,00 on February 2008 at Sotheby’s in London.
Other works, such as his sketches and paintings of flowers, have also reached high prices; ‘Three Chrysanthemums’, a black crayon and pastel on paper piece, sold for €314,400 from Sotheby’s in Amsterdam on 23rd May 2006. Similarly, an oil on canvas piece painted in 1905, ‘Geinrust Farm with Isolated Tree’ sold for $307,200 on 3rd November 2005 from Sotheby’s in New York.
Most expensive work
The highest price paid for a Mondrian is ‘Composition avec bleu, rouge, jaune et noir’, a piece dated from 1922, which was auctioned at Christie’s auction house in Paris for €21,569,000 on 24th February 2009, far exceeding it’s estimated €10,000,000 sale price and setting a new world record for the artist’s work.
The piece is one of the first works by Mondrian in the neo-plasticism style, marking a distinct change from the works he had created just the year before, which were markedly more conventional.
Most famous works
Mondrian’s ‘Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red’, an oil painting from 1937-42, is amongst the artist’s best known works, and currently resides in the Tate Gallery, London. The painting represents Mondrian’s quest for simplicity, combining primary colours and black borders with squares and rectangles. ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’, painted in 1942-43, typifies Mondrian’s style of this era, as the artist attempts to capture the spirit of jazz music in his artwork.
The painting is in residence at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. 1924’s ‘Tableau No. IV with Red, Blue, Yellow and Black (at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) is another of Mondrian’s famous pieces.
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