September 26, 2023


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Mondrian hung upside-down for over 75 years –

Mondrian hung upside-down for over 75 years –

At a press meeting on the eve of Mondrian. Evolution, a Piet Mondrian exhibition at Germany’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20 museum, curator Susanne Meyer-Büser announced that the exhibition’s highlight, New York Town 1 (1941), has been displayed upside down considering that it was initial noticed in general public, German publication Monopol reported Thursday. 

The to start with clue that the portray, an adhesive tape version of the equally named New York (which hangs correct-aspect up in Paris at the Centre Pompidou), was hung improperly came from a photograph of the artist’s studio in taken in 1944, soon right after he handed absent, the curator claimed at the press convention. In the photograph, New York Metropolis 1 can be observed on an easel with the tightly grouped yellow, blue, and black stripes at the best.

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Museum facade.

“Could it be that the orientation demonstrated in the photo is the precise one particular Mondrian experienced intended?” the curator requested. In accordance to Meyer-Büser the photo was to start with revealed at New York’s Museum of Fashionable Artwork in 1945. There, far too, the thick grouping of stripes was shown at the bottom of the do the job alternatively of at the best. “Was it coincidence, was it oversight?” she said, adding that perhaps it was flipped above though becoming unpacked at MoMA over 75 several years in the past. 

Meyer-Büser claims to have evidence further than the photograph taken on Mondrian’s studio. She believes the artist would have labored from prime to bottom, thoroughly layering the strips of tape over one particular a different, weaving them jointly in a certain way, a feat that would be significantly more complicated if he labored from the bottom up.

Even more, at what is presently the top of the image, the tape is harshly torn and does not reach the edge of the canvas—another indication that Mondrian most likely labored from top to base. 

Regardless, the work will be exhibited at Mondrian. Evolution, which chronicles Mondrian’s stylistic progress, the way it has been since 1945, unclean ends up, thick grouping of horizontal tape at the base.

“If I switch the perform about, I threat destroying it,” Meyer-Büser said, in accordance to Monopol, and apart from “maybe there is no right or improper orientation at all?”

New York Town 1 is not the only time that the MoMA supposedly shown a do the job the improper way. In 1961, throughout the museum’s exhibition of do the job by Henri Matisse, a stockbroker named Genevieve Habert recognized the paper cut La Bateau was hung upside down. Neither the museum personnel, the 116,000 readers, nor the artist’s son Pierre had understood the oversight.

Immediately after several visits, Habert bought a catalogue and identified she was right, only to be scoffed at my museum team. She then approached the New York Occasions, which reported on the topsy-turvy minimize out.

Soon just after publication, MoMA curators took a 2nd glance and in the long run rehung the image the accurate way. “Mrs. Habert really should be presented a medal,” Pierre Matisse told the Periods.