Mondrian: a walk-over?

by Denise Antaw

Is it still our destiny to make art?

Appropriation by commercialisation
of your Pure Primary today
begs the question …

Is Art ‘s social function just a sofa-sit,

the ubiquitous cushion -
red or yellow - “enhancing”
that sofa’s black.

Across your ellipses we walk -
rectangles red - and yellow and blue; 
On carpets boundary’d with black 

And “an Abstract” – to “go” on the wall 

for “décor”, to colour ourselves
with the know-how of “cool”,
to show we know “It is, what it is” 

We have barricaded our Selves in.

From our inner sanctums, 
overwhelmed in the zeitgeist of fear
we concede your “Compositions” 

capture the “hard yards” of our grief. 

Wired away from reminders
of a sacredly Natural world
we do not excavate 
your opaque, impasto’d white
to sanctify the Time-line of a life

Mondrian aimed to express pure harmony and repose; the harmony between Nature and the spiritual. 

Denise takes profound delight in having kept company with Mondrian these last two months.

Mondrian was influenced by Cubist theory in Paris and the De Stijl studio in Amsterdam. All of Mondrian’s paintings I have poeticised have been influenced by Madam Blavatsky, a Russian mystic who promoted a theosophy, a Union of Being, between opposites, between nature and the spiritual. He was profoundly conscious of “the Void”, of the philosophical zeitgeist and constantly conscious of our humanity’s existential situation – illustrating this with his delineations in impasto’d white. He carved away the figurative form in his work, seeking a calm and orderly society. 

Mondrian’s “Compositions” he described as being Art about music. He worked with a palette of what he called “essentials”, Primary Perfect colours of red, yellow and blue. He was a member of the De Stijl Studio in Amsterdam which influenced décor and unity of design. He went through two wars and ended up in America, in New York where his work was influenced and varied by jazz – he loved dancing.

Henn, T.R. ‘The Lonely Tower’, Methuen & Co, Great Britain, 1965, p.238-239
Eccher, Danilo ‘L’Ombre della Ragione (Shadow of Reason)’, Charta, Italy, 2000, p. 236
Piper, David ‘The Joy of Art’, 1998, Beazley Publishers, U.K., 1988, p.230-231

Denise Antaw is the manager of a Survey office.  Denise was a sub-editor on the house magazine for the Reserve Bank. Trained in Advertising, Denise won the Copywriting Award at her Graduation. She was at  National Art School and Julian Ashton’s then completed half of a BA.Degree at UNSW and at UNE. – After Whitlam, university became too expensive, with seven children to educate. Like most writers, a daunting number of “journals” now haunt her shelves. Her aunt’s bequest of her library began it all, when Denise was eight. Poets from all over the world still keep her company at 4am.

%d bloggers like this: