By Joseph Parish
In all reality I would be very hard pressed to find a work of art that I completely despised and could distinguish no merit what-so-ever from. I believe that to each piece of art there is a proportional measure of good as well as a necessary ration of bad traits, just as no two artists create in the same fashion thus their end results reflect accordingly.
However, regardless of my personal feelings towards art in general, I find some issues abound when viewing specific geometrical abstract paintings. One such typical painting would be Piet Mondrian’s Composition with red, yellow and blue. This 20th century artist is known universally as the Dutch abstract artist with the colored rectangles.
During his formative years as an artist, Mondrian began his career creating a series of naturalistic and impressionistic landscapes featuring local meadows complete with the farms, cows and the Dutch windmills. It was no long before he eventually turned his talents towards pure abstraction. In the early 1900’s he explored various abstract forms and eventually settled upon a neoplasticism style. This was a typical Dutch movement initially inspired by Theo van Doesburg. Its objective was to create works of art exploring a viewpoint of pure form and color where the final product would be completely devoid of any sort of realism or emotion.
Although I am not moved emotionally by his renditions, I must provide his work with the respect it is due. He has taken and skillfully combined his thick black lines with the various colored rectangles. I think perhaps this artistic rejection of visual reality is the aspect of his art which fails to excite me. I am a firm believer that art should promote feelings within me. Only in that way can one fully appreciate what the artist is trying to achieve.
Piet’s style appears to forbid any sort of recognizable form, color and extensions of lines. He has demonstrated that he can successfully use both horizontal and vertical planes with no further need of color other than the primary tones and he features black, white or gray lines throughout. He has completely eliminated any thoughts of 3-dimensional representations as well as dismissed curved lines and circle.
His most famous work was entitled Composition with Red, yellow and blue which rang true to his neoplasticism beliefs. This composition was drafted in primary colors of red, yellow and blue planes and placed on a grid of black lines composed of various thicknesses which are placed perpendicular at 90 degree angles. It has been said that by his use of the pure colors and his brushwork that it favors a similar style as that of Vincent Van Gogh but with due respect, I must argue negatively in that regard.
Would I purchase this art piece? No, I think not. Does it have merit at all? Yes, it certainly does. In defense of his work this painting reveals his mastery of the warm light and cold dark combinations highlighted by straight, thick lines both in the horizontal and the vertical direction. He has successfully transcended the senses with both great and small squares and reflected positively on his composition of these squares.
I am a fan of cubism but the final result must motivate my emotions. It should make me want to see more of the artists work. I should feel happiness or a degree of sadness evoked from the painting. When I view Mondrian’s work I am under the impression that I am amidst art which is intended for a business environment, void of emotional impact. At the end of an art visit I should walk away from a painting with a desire to return once again, unfortunately with Piet Mondrian’s work cited above I am left with no desire to see the addition works.
Copyright @Joseph Parish