Night and Day: Wednesday, August 15, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Flowers to Grids

Before he was the god of abstract painting, Piet Mondrian turned out landscapes in the manner of the old Dutch masters. The Kimbell Art Museumís newest show, Mondrian, 1892-1914: The Path to Abstraction, shows how he went from obscure Amsterdam painter to revolutionary artist. He did so at a fairly late age ó itís difficult to remember that Mondrian, whose art is considered quintessentially 20th century, came of age in the 19th. He was born in 1872, and he didnít start producing the works for which he is remembered until he was almost 50. As the exhibit shows, his earliest works, such as 1898ís Village Church, reflected the conservative bent of the art schools in his native Amsterdam. Conventional wisdom holds that he broke with his roots in 1911, when he saw an exhibit of Picasso and Cťzanne paintings in Paris and moved to that city soon afterward. However, the exhibit shows that he was experimenting with his style before that. His 1908 painting The Winkel Mill in Sunlight owes an obvious debt to Seurat, while his Woods Near Oele from the same year is reminiscent of an Edvard Munch.

Kimbell patrons have long seen Mondrianís 1914 Composition No. 7, a work that falls within the scope of the exhibit, hanging in the permanent collection. The painting, more a mosaic than a grid, is a key to an aspect of this artistís career, which evolved slowly but surely from nature paintings to the classical abstractions that we know. The new Mondrian show documents that progress in exhaustive detail.

Mondrian, 1892-1914: The Path to Abstraction runs Aug 18-Dec 3 at Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is $4-8. Call 817-332-8451.


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