Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. General admission and Monet tickets are sold out.

Study for a Composition

A work made of collage of cut and pasted papers, prepared with gouache and charcoal, on pieced cream wove newsprint in three parts with charcoal on verso.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of collage of cut and pasted papers, prepared with gouache and charcoal, on pieced cream wove newsprint in three parts with charcoal on verso.

Date:

1940–41

Artist:

Piet Mondrian
Dutch, 1872-1944

About this artwork

In 1916, after a long search for an entirely new visual vocabulary to represent the physical world, Piet Mondrian arrived at a fully abstract style. He reduced bridges, churches, rivers, trees, and more to a series of horizontal and vertical black lines enclosing fields of unmixed red, blue, and yellow as well as white, black, and gray. This artistic idiom, eventually called Neoplasticism, removed naturalism from painting to reveal the essence of visual forms and provide viewers with a transcendental experience.

While Mondrian’s abstractions may seem simple, he worked hard to achieve the dynamic yet harmonious balance between line and color. He labored over the location, spacing, and thickness of every line, making numerous charcoal sketches both on paper and directly on the canvas. Although not immediately related to any finished painting, Study for a Composition shows the artist’s obsession with the density and placement of line and the number, size, and location of color fields. Here, he collaged red and blue papers to the sheet to examine their weight and position in relation to other elements. This work is the only known surviving study by Mondrian with colored collage elements.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Piet Mondrian

Title

Study for a Composition

Origin

Netherlands

Date

1940–1941

Medium

Collage of cut and pasted papers, prepared with gouache and charcoal, on pieced cream wove newsprint in three parts with charcoal on verso

Dimensions

330 × 270 mm (max.)

Credit Line

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection

Reference Number

2013.984

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/142570/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share