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…This is Art by Piet Mondrian

Life Magazine on 2nd July 1945

An often cited but rather disappointing piece in Life Magazine on 2nd July 1945, one year and five months after his death. There are a few short paragraphs and several illustrations which look as though they were redrawn for the article rather than images of the originals. 

The text reads,

During the last 30 of his 72 years Piet Mondrian, a Dutchman whose full name was Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, was probably the only artist in history who never drew a curved line. Ever since his exposure to cubism in Paris in 1910 he had refined his theory that the best art was rigidly rectilinear. Mondrian died in New York in 1944 and this year Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art gave an exhibition of his work, including the examples shown here. Most gallerygoers are alternately bored and exasperated by Mondrian's meticulous canvases, which were made by moving Scotch tape around until the pattern looked right. But critics call it "great art." Said the New York Times critic, Edward Alden Jewell, "The ultimate 'neoplastic' expression arrived at is brilliantly his own." Mondrian has had considerable effect on modern architecture, posters and especially linoleum. But his art is nothing new. It is the kind Plato said he would like in his ideal republic.
Life article
Life images

Life Magazine