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‘Hometown’ Winterswijk honours artist Mondrian with monument

Residence for twelve years

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WINTERSWIJK, the Netherlands - Dutch-born abstract painter Piet Mondriaan who in 1940 migrated to the U.S., recently was honoured with a sculpture in this eastern Dutch town where he had lived between the ages eight and twenty. Amersfoort-born Mondriaan died in New York in 1944 at the age of 82.

The new Mondriaan monument caps an existing walk through the town, along sights and views which the artist immortalized in his early, figurative stage of artistic life. The fibre-glass and plastic ‘sculpture’ made on behalf of the municipality, was created by artists Albert Dedden and Paul Keizer.

The creation consists of a white wall, with one side bearing grooves reflecting Mondriaan’s 1898 sketch of the local St. Jacob Church. The other side of the wall represents his 1936 painting’ Composition in Red and Black’ and also has a rendition of Mondriaan himself, sitting on a chair. That part of the monument projects horizontally with the artist gazing at the sky for inspiration.

The son of a head master who also was an artist, Mondriaan settled in New York in October 1940. He had moved to London in 1938, fearing developments in Nazi Germany. When the Luftwaffe began bombing London, Mondriaan made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to the United States. In 1917, the painter together with fellow artists Van der Leck and Van Doesburg had founded the modernist group known as De Stijl. In the mid 1920s, Mondriaan broke with De Stijl, in which Van Doesburg then had assumed a leading role. Mondriaan had lived in Paris for years, before moving to London. In New York, where he changed his signature to Mondrian, many of his best-kown works were made, including the Boogie Woogie and Broadway series.