At the beginning of September, I enjoyed a lot of free sunny weekends, a good opportunity to carefully check some art events and exhibitions in the city. As I regularly do twice the year, one of the stops was Martin Gropius Bau for the retrospective of Piet Mondrian works. It reunited works from Den Haag, the largest collection of Mondrian works.
The exhibition, that can be seen till the beginning of December, offers an overview of the evolution of Mondrian's work conception. Although his abstract works are more known to the public, his beginnings - realistic, inspired by the 17th century tradition of Dutch landscape, or influenced by Cubism, De Stijl or impressionism - were often obstructed by his popular abstract works. The famous 'Line' is part of the current works exhibited, but discovering the previous styles was for me by far more challenging and interesting. The exhibition, separated into spaces that are dedicated to various stages in the artistic life of the painter, is revealing an artist that permanently reinvented himself.
The development of his work with lines went through different stages, and architecture, besdes theosophy, played an important role in reshaping his identity. It worked together with the vision on the space and changing perception of it. Many were also his influences, gathered during the various inspirational places he visited. Between 1912 and 1917 he went through a Cubistic stage following his stay in Paris and the delapidated buildings, probably the consequence of the WWI damages, prompted his abstract beginnings.
At the end of the exhibition I felt the same way after reading a good book: the sadness that it finishes. Maybe till December I can give it one more try...