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Missing Mondrians

Missing Mondrians

These works form the basis of my book of the same name, in which I note,

Lostex det
My interest in the missing abstracts was sparked by reading that two of the works were lost to fire ‘during the acts of war’ [CR, p.288-9], while on loan from Wim and Tonia Stieltjes to the underrated Marlow Moss. They are the two paintings on the right of figure 2. Moss lost much of her own output in the same event, when her studio at Château d’Evreux, Gaucielin was bombed in 1944.

I assembled all the information available in the Catalogue with the idea of trying to reconstruct some of the works: my notion was that if there is an installation photograph which shows both a lost Mondrian and an extant painting (Mondrian or otherwise) it should be possible to see the structure, calculate the size and arrive at an informed guess on the colour scheme of the missing piece.

An important factor in pursuing this plan is the knowledge that, to Mondrian, structure was more important than colour: in confirmation of this, Blotkamp [p.205] quotes a letter Mondrian wrote to Alfred Roth, a prospective purchaser, in September 1929, ‘Let me know whether you prefer blue and yellow, white and grey, or perhaps red, a bit of blue and yellow and white and grey. The latter works with red in them are more “real”, the others more spiritual, more or less.’ While it is important to get the colours in the reconstructions as close as possible to the originals, the structure is key.

With most of these pages, clicking the thumbnail leads to the detail page on the painting. In this case, it leads to the page describing the reconstruction. Click the painting number (e.g. B93) to go to the detail page.

B93, 1918 B94, 1918 B118, 1921 B119, 1921 B148, 1922
B93 B94 B118 B119 B148
Lost by fire c.1944  Lost by fire c.1944  Destroyed in WW2 Destroyed in WW2 Whereabouts unknown

B149, 1922 B157 B158 B161 B164
B149 B157 B158 B161 B164
Confiscated by the Nazi authorities in 1937 Whereabouts unknown Given by Sophie Küppers to Kunstausstellung Kühl, Dresden Whereabouts unknown Consigned to Sophie Küppers

B169 B171 B174 B175 B177
B169 B171 B174 B175 B177
Consigned to Kunstausstellung Kühl, Dresden Sent to Kunstausstellung Kühl, Dresden Confiscated by the Nazi authorities Whereabouts unknown Whereabouts unknown

B179 B180 B181 B184 B186
Book cover design B180 B181 B184 B186
Whereabouts unknown Whereabouts unknown Whereabouts unknown  Consigned to Kunstausstellung Kühl, Dresden Consigned to Kunstausstellung Kühl, Dresden

B202 B242 B245 B247  
B202 B242 B245 B247  
Confiscated by the Nazi authorities Probably burnt in transportation by car during World War II Destroyed in a fire, São Paul. Whereabouts unknown