ART: PURIFYING NATURE

A SUPERB EXHIBITION TRACES MONDRIAN'S QUEST FOR IMAGES THAT EXPRESS A UNIVERSAL ORDER

THE DUTCH ARTIST PIET MONdrian, along with the Russians Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky, was one of the three founding fathers of 20th century abstract painting. The period 1910-20, when their ideas were in their first messianic flood, is a long way from us now, and the very idea of abstract art has lost some of its old modernist prestige; nobody supposes it could have become, as its makers and early evangelists supposed, the ultimate art form, the end of art history. And yet Mondrian remains an artist of extreme importance, not only because of the historic inventiveness of his pictures...

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