Composition 8 Piet Mondrian Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Composition 8 is a solid example of Mondrian's love for abstract art which came to the fore after he relocated to the French city of Paris in 1912. From then on we would not see Dutch landscapes any more, but instead a flurry of careful arrangements of abstract shapes and lines.

Mondrian across 1914 would create mazes of lines, all lined up horizontally and vertically without anything in between. His approach would look grid-like, but there was also room for some lines to end abruptly, serving no purpose itself. You will find orphan lines hanging out, whilst in other cases the lines would perfectly intersect each other in order to produce clear boundaries for rectangles which could then be filled with alternative colours. In this particular piece, Composition 8 (Compositie 8), the artist uses tones of gold, peach and grey in a relaxed, unprecise manner which gives an overall atmosphere of organic content. He does also allow himself the use of a few lines in this painting, which was rare across his work in that year. He also chose to fill the content right up to the edges of the painting, leaving little space for the content to breathe, or to slowly transition in, where as in other paintings in that year he would focus the content very much in just the centre of the composition. See also Composition No.IV / Composition 6.

Looking back at Mondrian's work we can see all manner of similarities with other artists, both those who came before him but also after. In the example of this painting, Composition 8, one cannot help but see the work of Paul Klee, a Swiss German painter also from the 20th century. Klee loved to reduce scenes from reality down to small shapes and often used bright colours to make them particularly contemporary in style. The likes of Castle and Sun and Senecio are good examples of how he used bright tones in a similar manner to how Mondrian worked here. Klee would actually travel abroad many times, including to North Africa where he would have come across hot climates and from that his use of bright colour and saturated light would directly be influenced.

Composition 8 can be found in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, USA. They have several other galleries in which they can rotate their large art collection but the main venue remains the New York location. They also possess several other Mondrian paintings, some of which are also featured within this website. One advantage of learning about the artist here is that their selection is fairly varied, capturing each of the different styles in which he worked across his career, including all of his different abstract approaches as well as also some of his Dutch landscape art as well. You can also find other related artists featured here which can help you to understand the influences that came upon the artist across his lifetime, and particularly when he moved to Paris in 1912. It was then that the Cubists came to capture his attention, after initially pricking his interest in a Dutch exhibition before he made the move across to France. The city was a true melting pot at the time, also bringing about the exciting work of Amedeo Modigliani as well.