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York art historian sheds new light on Mondrian

Posted on 2 June 2014

An art historian at the University of York plays a key role in curating a major new Piet Mondrian (1872 – 1944) exhibition at Tate Liverpool.

Reconstruction of 26 Rue du Départ, Paris based on 1926 photo by Paul Delbo. Photograph © 2014 STAM, Research and Production: Frans Postma Delft-NL. Photo: Fas Keuzenkamp © 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA

Dr Michael White, from the University’s Department of History of Art, is co-curator of the exhibition Mondrian and his Studios with Tate Liverpool’s Artistic Director, Francesco Manacorda. Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Dutch painter’s death, it runs from 6 June – 5 October 2014.

Providing fresh insight into Mondrian’s practice, the exhibition will explore his relationship with architecture and urbanism, and his contribution to the development of modern thought.

The exhibition will present the largest number of Neo-Plastic paintings by Mondrian ever assembled in the UK, with some never before seen in this country. It will also feature a life size reconstruction of his Paris studio that will allow visitors to experience a replica of the unique environment the artist created.

Dr White said: "Mondrian's visitors frequently described his studio as an almost other-worldly place that produced an aesthetic experience in its own right. This exhibition, which features the largest gathering of Mondrian's rare and precious abstract paintings seen in the UK, is the first to explore connections between the abstraction of his paintings and the physical environment in which they were made and displayed by the artist. It provides a unique insight into how Mondrian manipulated his studio space and used it to communicate the utopian aspirations he held for his art."

Tate Liverpool is also working with partner Turner Contemporary, based in Margate, who will present the exhibition Mondrian and Colour from 24 May – 21 September. Mondrian and Colour explores the early period of the artist’s career, tracing the painter’s use of colour from figuration to early abstraction. Together the exhibitions will focus the UK’s attention on this pioneer of abstract art.

Dr White will conduct a ‘Curator’s Talk’ for members on Thursday 5 June, and will also speak on ‘Mondrian: A Different Kind of Order’ at the York Festival of Ideas at 6pm on 16 June.

Further information:

For more information about Mondrian and his Studios at Tate Liverpool contact Tate Liverpool Press Office:  0151 702 7444/5,

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