Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondriaan: Composition en_rouge, jaune, bleu et noir, 1921 (Gemeentemuseum, The Hague) (© Wikimedia)

While some people are simply reminded of handkerchief designs at the sight of a canvas by the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), there is no doubt that he was one of the leading painters of the 20th century. A pioneer of abstraction, he had many seemingly contradictory sides. His early work dripped with symbolist sensuosity, while his later work celebrated the rhythms of jazz and traffic and the geometric rigidity of American urbanism. In this triple radio portrait, recorded to mark the 50th anniversary of Mondrian’s death, we hear the views of an art historian, a novelist and a psychoanalyst.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast: December 19, 1994