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Mondrian: On the Humanity of Abstract Painting Paperback – March 1, 1995
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From Library Journal
Schapiro (emeritus, art history, Columbia Univ.) here repackages two of his notable essays on Piet Mondrian and abstract painting. In "On the Humanity of Abstract Painting" (1960), the author defends this art form as containing expressive qualities and intellectual power while disavowing that abstractionism is cold and detached. In "Mondrian: Order and Randomness in Abstract Painting" (1978), he explores and analyses in depth the artist's most notable works from "The Red Mill" to "Broadway Boogie-Woogie" in relation to Bonnard, Degas, Monet, Pissaro, and Seurat. This essay also includes a comparison to a computer-generated variation made in 1964 by physicist Michael Noll in Mondrian's artistic style. Based on lectures, both of these essays have already appeared in Modern Art: 19th & 20th Centuries (Braziller, 1982). Libraries lacking that book, which is currently out of print, might want to consider; otherwise, this slim volume can only be reluctantly recommended. (Illustrations not seen.)-Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Meyer Schapiro is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Columbia University.
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The second, much longer essay "Mondrian: Order and Randomness in Abstract Painting," was written in 1978, and concentrates on a few specific works by Mondrian. This is again written as a justification, but focused on the importance of Mondrian. Schapiro draws useful comparisons between Mondrian's work and other paintings by important modern masters, such as Degas and Picasso.
These essays are not biographical, but should be regarded as criticism, although Schapiro does briefly discuss various phases of Mondrian's development, and the overall tone is wholly postive. Small color and b&w reproductions of the paintings of Mondrian and other modern painters are included.