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PRINT February 1983

BRANCUSI + MONDRIAN: A SUM, A SUMMA

IN SIDNEY JANIS’ INTRODUCTION to the catalogue “Brancusi + Mondrian” we learn that in the early 1950s John Senior, Jr., had the idea to show his Mondrian paintings surrounding a Bird in Space by Brancusi. In my 1968 study of the sculptor1 I began a meditation on his oeuvre with the idea that it was comparable to Mondrian’s. Ideas, ideas . . . In the event, it took the initiative and imagination of, not a museum of modern art, but a marchand de tableaux to bring these artists together in representations of such scope as to be significant—17 Brancusi sculptures, 17 Mondrian paintings, and a brace of watercolors and drawings by each.

The effect on the senses upon entering the Sidney Janis Gallery last December was dazzling, electric, well beyond what might have been anticipated—except of course by the exhibition’s organizer. In a corner of the main room was a massed display of seven gleaming

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