Piet Mondrian wanted to depict balance, not just a visual balance, but a natural, eternal and universal balance, that was simplified into its basic components. Did he accomplish this in his later paintings?

More images of Mondrian’s art.

  • The paintings to the left are ordered according to date (the top was one of Mondrian’s earlier drawings). It looks like Mondrian could paint whatever he wanted. Why did he choose to paint abstractly?

  • Are Mondrian’s earlier paintings similar to Impressionism, Expressionism or Cubism?

  • Why did Mondrian change his style?

  • Do you prefer Mondrian’s earlier representational paintings (paintings that look like something else) or his later abstract paintings (painting that doesn’t try to look like a physical object)? Why?

  • In Mondrian’s later paintings why did he only use primary colors and black and white?

  • In his later paintings why did he primarily use rectangles? Did they accomplish his purpose?

  • Are Mondrian’s later painting symmetrical or asymmetrical?

  • If you were to boil the universe down to its basic parts, how would you depict that in a painting?

  • Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow (bottom left), Mondrian painted in 1930 while living in Paris. Broadway Boogie Woogie (top center) he painted in 1942-1943 in New York City. How are those two paintings different? How are they the same?

  • Is Mondrian saying anything about New York City and Paris with Broadway Boogie Woogie and Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow? If so, what? Do you agree?

  • In this link you can see a video of reconstruction of Mondrian’s apartment in Paris. It is white with color blocks of blue, red and yellow, like his paintings. Why did he choose to make is apartment mimic is paintings or vice versa?

All images courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum