Composition in Oval with Color Planes 1 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 in Oval with Colour Planes 1 is one of Piet Mondrian's lesser known works, but it is nonetheless equally representative of the deep held philosophical beliefs he so consistently sought to demonstrate in his work

The piece shows Mondrian's beliefs about the fundamental unity of nature and of the universe through his stunning semi defined combinations of geometric patterns. The piece is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Piet Mondrian created Composition in Oval with Colour Planes 1 in 1914, two years into his first spell living in Paris. At this time Mondrian was undergoing a radical change to not only artwork, but his lifestyle as a whole. He was moving on from the traditional, safe impressionistic approach imprinted upon him by his family in Holland, and evolving into a new, unprecedented abstract approach.

Mondrian went so far as to remove a letter 'a' from his original Dutch name 'Mondriaan', making a statement of intent surrounding his newfound calling.

Mondrian's deep rooted philosophy is represented in this painting by the use of vertical and horizontal lines, showing how different individual parts can click together to form a larger whole. This composition also reflects Mondrian's personal transitional period of the time, with the structures in the painting based on demolished buildings from Paris.

In the painting there are visible structures resembling wallpaper, chimneys and exposed floors. This shows Mondrian's inspiration of his new surroundings, but is again very cleverly representative of his theory of neoplasticism.

The universe, for Mondrian, is very much like a building in that it is the sum of unique individual parts, parts which naturally and harmoniously come together to form the world we see before us. Composition in Oval with Colour Planes 1 is a snapshot of an intriguing phase in Mondrian's life, but shows a demonstration of the artistic and philosophical principles which continued to guide him throughout his entire career.