Jacqueline Gourevitch on Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian, Composition in Oval with Colored Planes, 1914, oil on canvas, 42
Piet Mondrian, Composition in Oval with Colored Planes, 1914, oil on canvas, 42 3/8 x 31 inches (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Jacqueline Gourevitch reflects on Piet Mondrian’s Oval with Colored Planes (1914) in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Gourevitch writes: "for the sheer immediacy of seeing what lies at the heart of making a painting, I turn to this early Mondrian. I want to look closely at how this painted surface, devoid of representational content or narrative, manifests and embodies its own unique, complex meaning. This Mondrian has a marvelous, lilting, adventurousness to it: an improvisational, searching liveliness. These are life enhancing qualities. The oval hovers just above the bottom edge of the canvas. Equidistant from right and left, it appears to sway slightly. It floats. It breathes. It is alive and has a pulse."