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Mondrian produced a number of still life paintings in 1912, many of which made use of the same objects. The artwork found here is called Still Life with Gingerpot II.
The first iteration allows us to see into an open room with a clarity of form, just without too much detail. We can understand what we are looking at within that artwork, but this follow up involves a sudden leap towards more abstract forms. We have a large vase in front of us, filled with stunning tones of green, but then the rest of the composition is dominated by black outlines which boldly create form, but without any colour fills to help us to identify specific things within the room. Are these two paintings intended to help the artist to tell us about the journey that he is now on? The comparison between the two gives us a simple visual demonstration of how he used different amounts of abstraction within his work during this period of his career.
The artist went on a path of discovery between around 1911 and 1914 where he threw himself into a cubist style. You will find different arrangements of objects converted into this modern format, no doubt inspired by a number of French painters who had drawn attention to this alternative way of creating and depicting form. This was not to be something that Mondrian persisted with too much beyond this period, but it was still a significant time which helped push him further into the world of abstract art. The comparison of just these two paintings can help to underline his progression from the earlier landscape paintings to the later neoplasticism, which was to become his signature approach in the decades to come.
Head to the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague to see this painting up close. There are a number of other pieces from his career within their collection as well, whilst the rest is dispersed across the world, with some in European and North American private collections, with others to be found in major public art galleries and museums, such as Tate Modern in London, UK. His abstract work remains the most prominent part of his career but there is much more to see for those willing to spend time looking deeper into his career oeuvre.