Painting in parallel

Yesterday I went to a small but perfectly formed exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London that explores the creative similarities and differences between the artists Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson. I have always admired Nicholsons work, especially the white reliefs, but had never made a connection between him and Mondrian. The work of both these painters can be distilled down to the basic elements of line and colour. Blocks of primary colour balance the lines on the flat surfaces of Mondrian’s painting whereas the carved surfaces of Nicholsons white reliefs and the layered geometric forms of his painting draw you in.

Piet Mondrian, Composition C (no III) with Red, Yellow and Blue, 1935

Ben Nicholson, 1936 (White Relief)

Ben Nicholson, 1937 (painting)

 I was particularly interested that the the wall labels used words that refer to music/sound to describe the works…..’the double beat of the parallel lines’…………..’the staccato effect of the closely spaced lines’.

You can read about the exhibition here and if you go on Monday before 2pm entrance is free!


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