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Title: Piet Mondrian : his life's work and evolution, 1872 to 1944
Author: Threlfall, Tim
ISNI:       0000 0003 8547 6149
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1978
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Piet Mondrian in his essays, the majority of which were published in De Stijl, stressed the importance of a conscious understanding of the concept of evolution, both as a conception of man's spiritual and biolgical evolution. This study of his life's work examines the development of his ever growing cognizance of this concept as a 'unity in duality', and in addition his awareness of the implications of this conception. The consideration of Mondrian's life's work from the premises set by a study involved with the evolutionary nature of his work has brought into sharp focus the dialectical relationship that his latter work has to his earlier work. But in addition research conducted for this study has shown that the entirety of Mondrian's work does not exist as an isolated individual incident but as a consciously, thus dialectically related part of the History of Philosophy of Art. The methods used in the course of this study were developed from the implications of the original premises 'to consider the relationships between Mondrian's theories and practice'. To begin with, a basic philosophic background was established against which Mondrian's theories could be studied. This was followed by a careful study of his early work against the background of 19th century European Art and the theories that influenced the art of that period. A form of 'bibliography', was constructed which embraced both paintings and literature with which Mondrian could have concerned himself and been influenced by. For example, the collection of paintings in the Mesdag Museum and Dr. Schoenmaekers two books. The problem of visualizing Mondrian's lice as an evolutionary process became an early and difficult question. It was resolved through the construction of two statistical graphs, the second of which was drawn with the aid of a computer. At every stage of the close study of individual works, made by Mondrian and other artists, whose work was used for comparative purposes, analytic diagrams were constructed. They have proved themselves to be invaluable in gaining a clarification and cognizance of the evolution of Mondrian's concept of 'unity in duality', in his visual work. The major divisions of this study are concerned with the stylistic and theoretical changes that make up the parts of Mondrian's transition from an art based in the perceptual cognizance and expression of reality to the conscious manifestation of an art that was in its essential form rooted in a pure conception of reality. In realizing this form of art Mondrian also found answers to the ontological questions that had beset him in his early years and had consequently acted as a powerful motivating force to his artistic evolution. The conclusions drawn from this study of Mondrian's life's work are that his work in all its manifold aspects was, throughout his life an ever evolving expression of man's desire to understand and to manifest his understanding of the universe and as such his work was in complete concordance with his theories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Lanchester College of Technology
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ND Painting