Vivid colors, bold lines, geometric shapes: Piet Mondriaan, right? True, but not entirely. Just as many dancers start off with classical training, most artists begin traditionally, as well. Mondriaan said himself, “I started like everyone else,” but it’s the evolution of his craft that’s nonpareil and central to the Amsterdam art world this season.
Journey through Mondriaan’s twenty years of self-discovery as he experiments with different art techniques, materials and themes, many of which were farms and mills, his favorite subjects. Step into his ateliers and surround yourself with the handfuls of Amsterdam locations from which he drew his inspiration. Learn about his early jobs (like giving drawing lessons to wealthy young ladies, which he claimed was too much of a distraction!) and view his very first painting in Amsterdam. You can even add a personal touch to Mondriaan’s famous “Mill in Sunlight.” I did!
Below, my top picks from the exhibit. Notice the transformation in Mondriaan’s work as he develops a more colorful palette and discovers the expressive side to art.
Mondriaan’s transitional years, from sober and dark to experimental and vibrant, will be featured at the Amsterdam Museum until January 5, 2014. More than 60 of the dynamic artist’s creations have been brought from the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag back to Amsterdam, the city where it all began.