January 31, 2009
I've always found the grids of modernism rather static and highly ordered. I recoil from the basic kinds of line—that is, straight horizontals and verticals— because there is no sense of flow of energy, or dynamic movement though them. None of the flow of musical jamming if you like. No noise either.
Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1943
This work may be an exception: a subverting of the modernist grid? The title refers to American jazz, with its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic. The grid lines in Broadway Boogie-Woogie are composed of yellow color planes that are overlaid with blocks of colour laid up against each other. These tiny, blinking blocks of color create a vital and pulsing rhythm.
Despite this movement the overall look of the picture remains homogeneous, rather than freewheeling.