Piet Mondrian quotes and commentary

I have a new coat. It belonged to my aunt, who is moving out of Roslindale, leaving me the last of the Watson clan to be in the Roslindale/West Roxbury area. A place we have been since about 1909. The 100 year tradition continues.

As a result of Aunt Bet ty moving, many things are donated or given away to make the move easier, as is the usual custom. I was the receiver of all the "funky" things unwanted: chunky necklaces with a Buddha medalion, a fantastic feminine Stetson-ish hat and my new coat, a Piet Mondrian inspired piece of fashion.

This lead me to the question: who is Piet Mondrian? I mean, I've seen those lines and color blocks for ages, but it's time to explore. Here, from the website:


A collection of quotes from the artist, and my humble thoughts on the quote.

Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.

Of course, immediately, I think in terms of poetry. I substitute "lines and color" for "words and syntax" and "subject of the picture" for "subject in the poem". I think about the LANGUAGE poets. & now-a-days? What does Post-Abstract look like? Two threads, is what I see. One is a backlash. In terms of art, it is art that is Neo-Realism. In poetry, linear narrative work, like our dearest Billy Collins. The other thread is a merging of movements, including Abstract. It may seem in opposition to the movement that after it is experienced, it then gets incorporated into a hybrid of past periods, but I feel as though I'm seeing that in art -- partially abstract but partially clear in "subject" -- that we are able to incorporate that into our creations now.

The position of the artist if humble. He is essentially a channel.

Yes, indeed. I've written about this on my poetics blog (where I'm reposting this entry, so sorry if you're reading it there & now confused. If that's where you're reading this, see my day to day blog for the original entry). Art pre-exists in a frequency and artists try to tune into the frequency to channel what they're hearing from it. Sounds hippie maybe, but let's talk about it like this. Chef Jose Andreas, who has a show called "Made in Spain" on PBS and also has an interesting looking restaurant in DC, likes to use the sparist ingredients for some recipes. But he also experiments in that gastrowhatsitcalled type crazy foam shtuff and whatnot. His philosophy on why he is able to execute this type of cooking successfully, and why other chefs tend to fail, is that he "listens" to the essence of the food. He does not try to dominate or master it and change it to something it is not meant to be. He tunes into the essence of the food item and then extracts it and plays with it to see what else it wants to do. The same happens with the painter and the pain, the sounds and the musician, the poet and the words. It's not a matter of mastering and dominating but of listening and channeling.

In art the search for a content which is collectively understandable is false; the content will always be individual.

Because EVERYTHING is subjective; therefore, meaning can never be absolute. (So, instead, make lines and blocks of primary colors...)

The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object. Therefore the object must be eliminated from the picture.

Again, I think of poetry that takes out the narrative angle and instead focus on the juxtaposition (smartpeopleword) of words to prickle the brain in ways that prose does not.

To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual.

I think, in this case, about the difference between gnosticism and apostolicism. Gnosticism is about going inside oneself to find spirituality. Apostolicism is about going out and "preaching the word of the Lord", if you will. So, if you call reality the outside, than the spiritual can easily be the inside.

Okay, that's the end of my ponderings on Piet Mondrian's quotes. I didn't use all of them from the website, just a few choice ones.