Dutch city unveils ‘largest ever Mondrian painting’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 6, 2017 - 14:53
  • Updated : Feb 6, 2017 - 14:53

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) -- Dutch officials unveiled Friday what they called “the largest Mondrian painting in the world” to celebrate the Netherlands’ best-known abstract artist, who helped found an influential art movement a century ago.

The replica “painting” made from thin stick-on plastic sheets features Piet Mondrian’s famous design of straight black lines and striking red, yellow and blue blocks and has been displayed on the sides of the city hall in The Hague.

“The Hague’s city council decided to honor the world-renowned artist as part of a year of celebrating the theme ‘Mondrian to Dutch Design,’” city spokesman Herbert Brinkman told Agence France-Presse.

This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Dutch art movement in1917 called “De Stijl” (“The Style”) known for its bold horizontal and vertical lines encasing blocks of primary colors.

Mondrian and fellow Dutch painter and designer Theo van Doesburg were two of the better-known artists of De Stijl, which eventually dissolved in the early 1930s.

Mondrian, who shortened his name from “Mondriaan” in later years, is best known for his 1944 canvas “Victory Boogie Woogie” -- considered one of the most important works of 20th century art.

Works of art with the familiar red, yellow and blue areas of painter Piet Mondrian decorate the facade of the city hall in The Hague, the Netherlands, Friday. (EPA-Yonhap)

The painting returned to the Netherlands in 1998 after it was bought from a private American collection for $40 million at the time.

It now hangs in The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum, which also houses some 300 other Mondrian works, the world’s largest collection.

Brinkman told AFP the city planned to adorn other buildings with similar Mondrian-inspired works, including floating cubical pontoons on the Hofvijver, the small lake in front of the centuries-old Dutch parliament.

After his death, Mondrian continued to be a source of inspiration, including for a famous 1965 cocktail dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent, which sold in 2011 for a whopping 30,000 pounds ($37,500).