A modern art masterpiece surpasses an artist’s record at Sotheby’s auction | National
Piet Mondrian’s epic masterpiece Composition No. II fetched $55.5 million at Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction, surpassing the artist’s record of $50.6 million. The final sale price includes the winning bid of $48 million plus Sotheby’s buyer’s premium.
Composition No. II performed in the November 14 auction, which included works by Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet and Joan Miro. by Pablo Picasso Guitar on a tablefinalist of the auction, recovered the tidy sum of 37.1 million dollars.
Sotheby’s October press release announced the sale, providing additional insight into Mondrian’s work and legacy.
Composition No. II Meaning
Composition No. II illustrates the bold use of primary colors and striking geometry that propelled Mondrian to fame. The massive 20 by 20 foot oil on canvas features a large red square in the upper right corner, blocked by bold black lines and white rectangles. Blue and yellow corners add a splash of color to the piece, keeping the viewer’s eye engaged.
Mondrian completed Composition No. II in 1930, one of nearly thirty works. It last sold for 2.2 million at auction in 1983, a record for abstract art that has since been greatly surpassed, notably by Willem De Kooning’s Interchange, which sold for $300 million in 2015.
Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art for the Americas, highlighted the importance of the work. “Composition No II embodies everything one would expect of a Mondrian – it is a seminal painting both crucial to the development of modern art and emblematic of the lasting appeal of modern aesthetics.
Dawes goes on to explain that the work is “characterised by a serene sense of compositional balance and spatial order, and with superb provenance”.
Composition No. II is part of a series of nearly thirty pieces that Mondrian completed in the 1920s and early 1930s. Art lovers in the United States can view works from the series in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco . The Met 5th ave Composition houses, an earlier work similar to Composition No. II in shape and color.
The Art Institute of Chicago features the diamond-shaped diamond composition with yellow, black, blue, red and gray, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art highlights the rectangle Composition No. III.
Additional works in the series are exhibited in museums around the world, including the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. Many others remain in private collections.
The work and legacy of Piet Mondrian
Although renowned for his geometric paintings like Composition No. II, Mondrian was a prolific painter with an extensive body of work. The Dutch artist began his career at the turn of the 20th century, when post-impressionism was the dominant form. His early works feature a style reminiscent of Paul Gauguin, with bold dark lines and a striking use of value.
Composition No. II is a perfect example of Mondrian’s enduring legacy. Despite his classical training, Mondrian turned to the exploration of geometric abstraction and stood at the forefront of the modern art movement. His work gave rise to the complete abstraction adopted by painters of the 1950s and 1960s by changing the rules of contemporary art.
Geometric patterns and simple yet striking colors have influenced artists for generations. pop artist by Roy Lichtenstein the bold use of line and color recalls Mondrian’s palette. In contrast, Chinese artist Liu Ye the squares and rectangles are an obvious homage to the geometric works of Mondrian.
Mondrian’s works influenced the minimalist movement in addition to the modern art movement. The simple aesthetic of black lines and a simple, bold color palette have inspired work in a variety of fields including fashion, design and architecture.
According to Sotheby’s, the Eames House in California, Danilo Solverstrin’s furniture, Nike’s SB Dunk shoes, and White Stripe’s De Stijl album cover are all influenced by Mondrian’s work.
While reflecting on his artistic evolution and the use of simple, primary colors in place of a natural color palette, Mondrian explained that his “work unconsciously began to deviate more and more from the natural aspects of reality… The first thing to change in my painting was the color. I gave up natural color for pure color.”
The most expensive paintings ever sold
Although the auction set records for Mondrian’s work, the sale price pales in comparison to World record. Leonardo DeVinci Salvator Mundi sold for over $475 million at a Christie’s auction in 2017, earning it the distinction of being the most expensive painting ever sold. Willem De Kooning, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gaugin, Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko are other artists whose works have sold over 100 million.
Although Mondrian’s paintings may never sell for more than a hundred million dollars, his lasting impact on art and culture is undeniable. Its heritage shines wherever you find minimalist yet bold color patterns. The modern art movement would not have been the same without his massive influence.
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