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            PIET  MONDRIAN     
            1872–1944

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Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, influenced by the theories of Dutch philosopher M. J. H. Schoenmaekers—who believed that the three primary colors of red, yellow, and blue held cosmic significance—created the geometrical abstract style known as Neoplasticism in 1921. First published in 1963, this photograph appeared again in 1996, in conjunction with a letter Newman wrote recalling a pivotal meeting between the two artists in 1941. Newman, then twenty-four, had approached Mondrian asking to photograph him for an experimental photography project. The painter not only acquiesced but, as a gift of appreciation for Newman's portraits, made him two drawings. It is generally accepted that one of these drawings became the predecessor and catalyst for Mondrian's masterpiece Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43).

Arnold Newman (born 1918)
Gelatin silver print, 1941/42
Published October 1963
Arnold Newman

© Arnold Newman/Getty Images
(Printable page)

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