Mysteries of Mondrian

The young Piet Mondrian

Peter Schjeldahl writes wonderfully in The New Yorker about “Piet Mondrian: A Life”. This review covers Mondrian’s dynamics with Picasso, Pollock, Duchamp and jazz.



Schjeldahl, comparing Mondrian to Picasso  writes:

Mondrian’s character as a man is enigmatic, too: cognizant of his times, but, with rare exceptions, living and working stubbornly alone. He never married. He and Picasso cohabit no world except the whole one. Picasso’s sphere is Dionysian, saturated with his personality. That of Mondrian is Apollonian, evacuated of anyone’s…..Though [Mondrian] quailed at ever meeting Picasso—I’d have been nervous of that, too—Mondrian admired him, and Picasso may or may not have returned the favor. ([Picasso] held “non-figurative” art in contempt, arguing that any mark on a surface constitutes a figure.) 

This newly translated biography was previously discussed HERE.