TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 1997

Head Rooms

HIS ART GAVE him the reputation of being an austere man, his embellishments limited to the realm of jazz. And yes, his midtown Manhattan white-wall studio would be termed “neat,” all sides at right angles or parallel—except for the inevitable circle of the table clock. So is it impossible to imagine, looking back to Rietveld and De Stijl and ahead to Yves Saint Laurent and museum-shop earrings, that Mondrian used his saturated rectangles for . . . decoration? Only if we first reexamine the concept of decoration. And then, when pushed up against these walls, we must also reconsider the artist’s ongoing tussle with the canvas’ edge. Because of the artist’s “decorations,” this room, any ordinary room, becomes a field of planes. Conversely, a canvas becomes a map-collapse of volumetric mental space. How simply this studio brings the two together.

In their studios, artists usually look at (1)

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