Erik Saxon

  • On Mondrian’s Diamonds

    SOME OF MONDRIAN’S DIAMOND-SHAPED paintings contain compositions that are unique to his oeuvre. His involvement with the diamond shape spans 40 years, and, considering his extreme stylistic changes, one can find a continuity between the first diamond, those in between, and the last. Most importantly, concentrating on the diamonds, one can trace the artist’s changing attitude toward the plane of the canvas.

    In the National Gallery’s exhibition of Mondrian’s diamond paintings eight of the 16 known diamonds were shown, with eight drawings, and other supporting material (the fragility of some of

  • Planar Constructions and the Planar Dimension

    I cannot help rejecting all repetitions of images al, ready done, already worn out and ineffective. I cannot help searching for new images and this I do, not for the sake of their novelty, but for the sake of finding an expression of the new outlook on the world around me and the new insight into the forces of life and nature in me.
    —Naum Gabo1

    GABO’S STATEMENT DESCRIBES THE RESTLESS, and at times revolutionary, attitude of several artists who, in rejecting traditional approaches. to painting and sculpture, created a new art. For this creation three things were necessary: one was a negation

  • Planar Straight Line and the Primary Plane

    ONE OF THE ELEMENTS unique to nonobjective painting is the planar straight line. The straight line in general is man-made: Arnheim notes that to make a straight line one “must go through a complex motor process.”1 The line can be given a planar quality by thickening it and by shaping or squaring its ends, although such a “planar” line defies the Euclidian definition of a line as having neither breadth nor thickness. So making a planar straight line is a decisive move; it is an innovative marking process. As a shape with parallel sides, the planar line relates directly to the plane of the canvas,