Tableau 2 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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Tableau 2 features the grid style which would become the most recognisable style used within his career. The use of simple lines and form would summarise the modernist approach brilliantly and Mondrian would take this approach into as many different ways as possible.

This particular iteration would arrive in 1922 and Mondrian had been working in this manner for around five years by this point. Tableau 2 is predominantly grey in tone, with black lines then added over the top in order to create sections. Here we see Mondrian using a consistent thickness of line, which was not always the case. This helps to provide a consistency across the painting. Interestingly, some of the lines do not quite reach the edges of the canvas, which was also unusual. He would then fill some of the rectangular forms created by the intersecting lines with alternative tones, choosing in this case the likes of yellow, blue, dark grey and red. One can also make out his signature on the bottom of the canvas, just by the red slither of paint and normally he would date the piece at the same time. Tableau 2 is just over half a metre in width and height and this was the standard size for his work in this style, though some of these paintings would have additional frames and hanging instruments added at a later date for their protection when sent out for exhibiting elsewhere.

Much has been said by art historians about this artistic approach, with many arguing that the power of these paintings is provided by a combination of logic and science alongside a more spiritual side. The grid itself would offer this organised visual display, whilst also bringing about an emotion within us that goes beyond that. Mondrian was passionate about this approach and would ultimately fall out with colleagues over the direction in which this movement would go. Some argued for great flexibility and new ideas, where as Mondrian wanted to keep things more consistent in order to protect the original ambitions of the group. For artists within contemporary movements to disagree is entirely normal, and so most of these collectives never last longer than just a few years as ambitions and ideas inevitably diverge sooner rather than later. They were known as the Dutch De Stijl movement and formed in around 1917. The members continued to work in contemporary art afterwards, but with less inclination to find an agreed approach which restricted them all.

Tableau 2 can now be found within the collection of the Guggenheim in New York, USA. This gallery hosts a number of items from his career, featuring a good blend of different styles from across his career, making it likely that these pieces were acquired independently of each other and from a variety of sources, as most collectors would normally focus on a particular period of an artist's career. Alongside Tableau 2 you will also spot the likes of Ocean 5, Composition No. 1 with Grey and Red 1938 / Composition with Red 1939, Tableau No. 2/Composition No. VII and both Still Life with Gingerpot I and Still Life with Gingerpot II. Aside from this, there are plenty of related artists to be found here as well, within an extensive collection which focuses brilliantly on European and American art from the 20th century. The Guggenheim therefore remains one of the highest profile galleries within New York, USA.