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Piet Mondrian Art Prints and Posters
Looking at his rigidly defined and scrupulously tidy paintings, unkind people might be tempted to describe Piet Mondrian as a control freak. You be the judge.
He was born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan (hmmm, tidied up his <i>own</i> name, did he?) at Amersfoort in Holland (amongst all those nice <i>straight</i> canals and perfectly <i>rectangular</i> fields!) where his dad was a strict Calvinist primary school teacher (uh oh!).
After attending the Fine Art Academy in Amsterdam, Piet started off by painting traditional Dutch landscapes then his trees began to get more abstract (stripped the branches). In 1911 he came across Cubism and new mathematical theories and before you say 'thrusting green shoots' he was describing Nature as a 'damned wretched affair' which he could 'hardly stand'. Which is probably why he banned it from his Paris studio.
The wildest, funkiest thing there was a tulip (well, he was Dutch). It wasn't a real tulip of course (all that nasty sap), just a nice, non-threatening artificial one, which he'd painted white. In between some deliberate shrub avoidance involving things like choosing restaurant seats so he didn't have to look at all those disgusting green trees outside, Piet began to achieve some sort of artistic recognition and set up The Style magazine with some like-minded friends.
After leaving Paris in 1938 for fear of being bombed, he got bombed in Hampstead instead, then sailed to New York where he established a studio that was said to be even more sterile and laboratory-like than his Paris one. But before he could suffer any more upsets (more bombs ?... team painting session with Jackson Pollock?) he died of pneumonia (knew he shouldn't have kept that tulip).Copyright Michael Cox