Friday, September 11, 2009

Broadway Boogie Woogie

This painting is awesome in person. I saw it at the MoMa a few years ago, and I think of it often. Mostly for it's complex composition, and use of colour. Balance is the prominent element of design here. I've included below a blurb explaining it's story...
Escaping to New York after the start of World War II, Mondrian delighted in the city's architecture, and, an adept dancer, was fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie–woogie. He saw the syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic of boogie–woogie as akin to his own "destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm." Bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, paths of red, yellow, and blue interrupted by light gray suggest the city's grid and the movement of traffic, while the staccato vibration of colors evokes the syncopation of jazz and the blinking electric lights of Broadway.
Many architects and designers have been influenced by Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie. Below is Dutch artist Gerrit Thomas' famous chair. He's also known for having set the tone for movement of De Stijl. I think this chair is one of the very few pieces that have been influenced by Piet, that actually is successful.

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (25 June 1888–27 June, 1965) was a Dutch furniture designer and architect. One of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl, Rietveld is famous for his Red and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rietveld designed his famous Red and Blue Chair in 1917. In 1918, he started his own furniture factory, and changed the chair's colors after becoming influenced by the 'De Stijl' movement, of which he became a member in 1919, the same year in which he became an architect. He designed his first building, the Rietveld Schröder House, in 1924, in close collaboration with the owner Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck. Built in Utrecht on the Prins Hendriklaan 50, the house has a conventional the ground floor, but is radical on the top floor, lacking fixed walls but instead relying on sliding walls to create and change living spaces. The design seems like a three-dimensional realisation of a Mondrian painting. The house is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Rietveld broke with the 'De Stijl' in 1928 and became associated with a more functionalist style of architecture known as either Nieuwe Zakelijkheid or Nieuwe Bouwen. The same year he joined the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne. He designed the "Zig-Zag" chair[1] in 1934 and started the design of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which was finished after his death. He built hundreds of homes, many of which in the city of Utrecht.

Less for me, but in the right setting, I could be wonderful. Please ask a professional if you are going to buy these, it may become a total disaster.

I think this could be good if the colours were the original ones. Why play games when the concept it perfect? This is what happens when people think they are getting 'creative'. Stop. If you feel you can adapt to the concept, and succeed, then do it; otherwise-don't!

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