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BIOGRAPHIES, MEMOIRS, DIARIES

PUBLISHER
Ridinghouse/Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6.25 x 9.25 in. / 464 pgs / 64 color / 60 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2022 p. 27   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781909932517 TRADE
List Price: $50.00 CDN $65.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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RIDINGHOUSE/KUNSTMUSEUM DEN HAAG, THE HAGUE

Piet Mondrian: A Life

By Hans Janssen.

Piet Mondrian: A Life

“Janssen’s biography of the Dutch master is riveting and eloquent.” –Terence Trouillot, Artnet

Piet Mondrian: A Life is the first comprehensive biography of Piet Mondrian to be published in English. This remarkable book provides a long-overdue and compelling account of the life of perhaps the most influential abstract artist of the 20th century. Hans Janssen, former chief curator at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, draws on his own research and that of a cohort of distinguished scholars, as well as previously unknown letters, writings and archival materials, to reveal unexpected new insights into the artist’s life and the circles in which Mondrian moved.
From his student days in Amsterdam to his life in Paris after the First World War, to his time in London and New York from 1938 until his death, Mondrian is here presented as someone in constant interaction with the world around him. Far from a lonely, isolated figure as he is often portrayed, he is revealed as an artist reacting to the emergence of modernity and taking the lead in shaping art for the world in which we now live. Translated into English in the 150th anniversary year of the artist’s birth, and already celebrated and anticipated in the New York Times, this is a vital contribution to the scholarship on Mondrian as well as on the development of abstract art.
A cofounder of the De Stijl movement and pioneer of 20th-century abstraction, Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) developed his iconic style of Neoplasticism—a rigorously limited yet generative language of straight lines and primary colors—out of a progressive exploration of painting that took him from naturalistic landscape painter to theoretician of geometric abstraction.
Hans Janssen (1954–2021) is the author of Piet Mondrian: The Man Who Changed Everything and coauthor of The Story of De Stijl, and was a curator of modern art at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.


PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Publishers Weekly

Liz Hartman

The author uses his own research; previously unknown letters, writings, and archival materials; and the work of other scholars to explore the life of this pivotal artist.

Wall Street Journal: WSJ.

Maxwell Carter

[Demonstrates] an extraordinary feel for the paintings and an uncanny sense of Mondrian’s inner self.

Airmail

Tobias Grey

A fascinating study of an artist so obsessed with his life’s work that he would let nothing and no one get in its way.

New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

Style for him, from first to last, served a quest to manifest soul-deep spirituality as a demonstrable fact of life. His aim, he said, was not to create masterpieces, though he did that, too. It was 'to find things out.' He reduced painting’s uses and procedures, the whats and the hows, to a rock-bottom why.

Piet Mondrian: A Life

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/27/2022

The critically-acclaimed first major biography on Piet Mondrian in 50 years, in English

The critically-acclaimed first major biography on Piet Mondrian in 50 years, in English

"Trafalgar Square, Second State" (1939–43) is reproduced from Piet Mondrian: A Life, the definitive biography by the late curator Hans Janssen, reviewed this week by Peter Schjeldahl in the New Yorker and Maxwell Carter in the Wall Street Journal. Both reviewers point out that this audaciously structured, 464-page biography reads as swiftly as fiction. "Throughout the … summer he danced several times a week with 33-year-old Lee Krasner and her friends, combing Manhattan until deep in the night for the best places to dance," one passage reads. "One evening in mid-July they were at Café Society Uptown, where [Harry] Holtzman had organized a party to celebrate Mondrian’s recovery from the flu and from his eye problems, which were connected with his old ailment. Krasner adored the handsome, elegant Mondrian and was never far behind him. At one point she was standing beside the dance floor watching and waiting until Hazel Scott had finished singing. The band struck up an upbeat boogie-woogie tune, and she suddenly heard Mondrian behind her shouting ‘Now!’ in a way that could not be refused. The next moment she felt the 68-year-old sweep her onto the floor. Mondrian was a fantastic dance partner. Later Krasner recalled with great pleasure his fabulous sense of rhythm and his love of complicated steps that challenged her to make complex and stylized responses, even when they danced separately, in a 'vertical dance.' Krasner regarded herself a good dancer, and Mondrian turned out to be an excellent partner who managed to bring out the best in her. They were frequently the center of attention on the dance floor, which Mondrian enjoyed immensely." continue to blog


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