PRINT October 1995

New Math

FOR ME, THE WORK of Piet Mondrian is linked to the 20th-century discourse on objective reality. This discourse has, I feel, led to a dichotomy in Modern painting. On the one hand, there is the tendency, explicit in movements from Constructivism through Minimalism, to present the visual in purely objective terms. On the other hand, there is the response to this intense objectification, which can be felt in the massive sublimation of Surrealism. To me, this dichotomy shows the alienation of the mind from objective reality when it is unable to sufficiently sublimate that reality.

Mondrian’s intent was to find universal harmonic balance through painting. He sought to achieve this through extremely reductive means and by establishing rules determining the objectively real in a painting. It is understandable, then, why Mondrian’s work has become a cultural emblem, claimed as a precursor of

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