Mondrian at the Farm

Piet Mondrian, “Farm near Duivendrecht,” c. 1916, Art Institute of Chicago.

Many years ago, a bulky envelop came in the mail from my Aunt Jan. Inside was the arts section of the San Francisco Chronicle with a large, front page reproduction of a painting by Piet Mondrian (1872–1944): white, red, and yellow squares and rectangles outlined in black. Mondrian was having something of a moment in the art world then. Aunt Jan attached a note, the upshot of which was, “Will somebody please explain to me what is so great about this stuff?!” I’m not sure why she thought of me as the person likely to offer an answer. Anyway, Mondrian did make realistic paintings before he merged into his abstract lane. I had never seen one until I stumbled across this image today. I think it’s wonderful. His squares and rectangles have grown on me too.



Pastor. Author. Violinist.

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