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News & Views

— May 2, 2012

Flex a little cerebral muscle at the the Mondrian || Nicholson: In Parallel exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery

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When the camera swoops up into the aerial view down on New York’s grid structure city in ‘CSI New York’ or pans along the freely undulating shoreline of the UK in ‘Coast’, I ponder upon how we interpret our environment -  whether living in a city or in the countryside, shapes how we see things.

There are many things you can take from the fantastic ‘Mondrian || Nicholson: In Parallel’ exhibition which explores the creative relationship between the two artists in the 1930s; an exhibition of pure forms of abstract art and one for contemplation.  

Piet Mondrian’s compositions of dynamic black lines – stepping back and the whole forming grids, broad expanses of white balanced by small areas of red, yellow and blue give a feeling of vibrancy and harmony, an ordering of the world through the turbulence of political upheaval and a seething Second World War.  He the city-dweller, with a love of the metropolis.
 
Ben Nicholson’s earthy relief carvings of circles and rectangular planes, raking light across which create shadows of different intensities and stacked blocks of standing stones and monumental columns that evoke the swathing expanses of the primeval Cornish landscape.  He the initially reluctant wartime refugee to Cornwall, who fell in love with the shifting landscapes in changing light.
 
So if you haven’t yet been, go see and flex a little cerebral muscle ….. and if you do happen to wander into the Courtauld shop, watch out for some nutty merchandising - e.g. Mondrian inspired enamelled cat and dog miniatures !     
 
                 
Not just a one-trick Pony ………
 
Talking of exercising the mind, how about a little exertion in tidying up ? !  I have long been fascinated by the humble magazine rack and amused by my archival use of it to stack all those ‘must read’ on a rainy day articles extracted from magazines and newspapers.  I salute these handy little beasts of burden whose purpose it is to free all horizontal surfaces of our mags and rags.

All good wishes and may your May be marvellous !

Johanna

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