PRINT March 1975



To The Editor:

Joseph Masheck’s article “Mondrian the New Yorker,” (Artforum, October, 1974), contains a few mistaken observations and speculations. In his discussion of the derivation of Mondrian’s tipped-square (lozenge) format he invokes an 1852 Gottfried Semper diagram which he says may, through Berlage, have been known to Mondrian. This is a rather slender hypothesis. Actually, the derivation of Mondrian’s tipped-square is two-fold. First, it is a logical (rectilinear) outgrowth of the Cubist oval format, which Mondrian had used extensively in 1914. The other source is older. The Dutch artists of the 17th century who most closely relate to Mondrian are the painters of church interiors, such as Emmanuel de Witte, Gerrit Berckheyde, and, especially, Pieter Saenredam. Most of their cold, white, asymmetrical interior views contain prominently displayed coats of arms in the lozenge format

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