Buenos Aires Herald. Published Sunday, October 1, 2000.
Art on Sunday
It is too abstract…
As we know through linguistics, psychology, sociology, etc., our choice of words, and the use we give them, defines social and cultural innuendos. The same word used in a different context, or by different people, has different meanings.
To those who are not initiated into contemporary art, anything vaguely modern is abstract art, or anything vaguely abstract appears to them as modern.
In an excellent book on Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), one of the great modern masters of abstract or non figurative art, -the authors, Harry Holtzman and Martin S. James -Thames and Hudson, 1987-, tell an interesting and revealing story of Mondrian’s interpretation of abstraction.
At a lunch at Peggy Guggenheim’s house, in which the surrealist artists Max Ernst and André Breton were present, as well as Marcel Duchamp, the hostess asked Mondrian what he thought of the paintings -fantasy landscapes- of the surrealist Ives Tanguy. His reply was quick and to the point: “It is too abstract, too abstract for me!”
(Published together with a reproduction of Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie, oil on canvas, 1942-43).