To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s death, Tate Liverpool reveals a new exhibition based around his Neo-Plastic paintings and showcasing the unique environment that the artist created to work in. Mondrian had studios in Amsterdam, Paris and New York and they all represented the best space for viewing the paintings. Each studio reflected different stages of the painter’s journey as an artist and the studios form their own distinct strand of his work. Visitors will be able to physically inhabit a replica of his Parisian studio at the exhibition.
It is significant that this exhibition takes place in Liverpool: the ship Samaria sailed from this point in 1940 carrying Mondrian from Europe to New York. The Tate Liverpool has a stunning view of the River Mersey from its fourth floor galleries and the drawings Mondrian made to explore the movement of the sea and its qualities will be displayed here, mirroring the water outside the windows.
After sailing across the ocean, Mondrian created Pier and Ocean (1941), demonstrating a fascination with the surface of the water and its plastic qualities. These aided him in developing his abstract vocabulary and his drawings of the ocean helped him formulate the grid that became his signature style. The exhibition will also explore the evolving nature of Mondrian’s work as he moved from Europe to America: contrasting his Parisian pieces with those made amidst the frenetic cityscape of New York City.
Mondrian and his Studios will be complemented by a partner exhibition: Nasreen Mohamedi. The two artists will share the fourth floor exhibition galleries. This summer Turner Contemporary will also present an exhibition on Mondrian in collaboration with the Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg. Together, these exhibitions will highlight the nation’s attention on this pioneer of abstract art in time for the 70th anniversary of his death.
Mondrian and his Studios, Piet Mondrian, 6 June – 5 October, Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 4BB, www.tate.org.uk.
1. Piet Mondrian, No. VI/Composition No. II 1920 © 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA.
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