Composition No II 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 No II, 1913, offers another example of Piet Mondrian's transition towards a grid-like approach within his paintings which slowly became more and more abstract over time. This piece offers a more organic atmosphere in which lines overlap and curve in a more random fashion.

We find here in this painting a tiled appearance with a touch of bright colour, though in a relatively subdued manner. The artist produces a myriad of small shapes from thin black lines which are fairly consistent in width but vary in length and arrangement. The shapes created by where they intersect each other are then filled with light tones of orange, pink and blue which adds greater interest to the piece. The artist then faces out the overall content around the edges, allowing the painting to breathe around the edges. 1913 was filled with several similar works like this and Mondrian was busy attempting to capture scenes from the real world within an abstract framework. He found several like-minded individuals who were similarly interested in contemporary art and they set about working together as a group, supporting each other and potentially exhibiting their work every few months in collaborative displays. Eventually Mondrian would go his own way but strength in numbers was important for him as a young artist, particularly because of how artistically groundbreaking his approach was.

Mondrian soon moved on and tried alternative abstract styles but this series of work is still important and a key step in his transition towards some of his most famous paintings, such as Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow. There is still something majestic about Composition No. II in how he creates an elaborate grid which must have been planned carefully on paper prior to starting this piece on canvas. There are some curves within this work which Mondrian was actually against at the time, making this something of a surprise. He was stubborn typically and rejected others in his group from veering away from their agreed path, eventually leading to the group disbanding and going their own separate ways, just as tends to happen with small groups of young contemporary artists at the start of their careers.

The painting can now be found in The Kröller-Müller Museum which is based in Otterlo, Netherlands. It focuses most on contemporary art, making Mondrian a natural choice for inclusion within their permanent collection. They hold several different artworks from his career and also try to provide a strong focus on local Dutch artists to cater for their audience. Mondrian is able to fit the bill in that regard, but also has an impressive international reputation still today, thanks to the strong influence on the art world brought about by his experimental and highly regarded oeuvre. Visitors to this respected gallery will also be able to see other Mondrian artworks such as Tableau no. 1, Composition 10 in black and white, Composition in colour A and also Composition with red, yellow and blue, offering a great selection of some of his different approaches to abstract art which came about from approximately 1913 and continued onwards for the rest of this artist's career.