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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fashion loves Mondrian

Chances are you have already spotted this iconic pattern, of black grid like lines accompanied by three primary colors created by the paintings of Piet Mondrian.  Whether it be in stores, streets, or the runway, it is rather difficult to miss. There is something very catchy about the simplistic form, and it is easily remembered. 

So who is Piet Mondrian and what exactly are these lines and colors all about? Piet Mondrian is a Dutch painter who contributed to the De Stijl art movement and group, founded by Theo van Doesburg. He was the leader in a non-representational form, which he termed Neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.

"I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true." 

-Piet Mondrian (written in a letter to H.P. Bremmer in 1914)

Mondrian's art always was intimate. They represent his spiritual desires and philosophical studies. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The work of Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy significantly affected the further development of his mind and taste.  Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature through empirical means, and much of Mondrian's work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge.

Composition No. 10" (1939–42), oil on canvas. A suggestive piece linking between non-representational works of art as ideals of peace and spirituality. 
His attempt was to strip nature bare, and to represent in its most simplistic form. Those lines forming grids, colored by vibrant blues, yellows or reds, all represent a deeper meaning on life. If you are going to wear "Mondrian" you must think like "Mondrian". This is the point of Art, and the point of Fashion. 

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