Broadway boogie woogie

Piet Mondrian • Painting, 1943, 127×127 cm
Digital copy: 743.6 kB
1998 × 2000 px • JPEG
35.3 × 35.3 cm • 144 dpi
33.8 × 33.9 cm • 150 dpi
16.9 × 16.9 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Style of art: Abstractionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1943
Size: 127×127 cm
Artwork in selections: 39 selections
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Description of the artwork «Broadway boogie woogie»

Broadway Boogie Woogie is one of Mondrian’s most iconic paintings of the New York period. Having arrived in the cultural capital of the United States, the artist almost completely abandoned black, focusing on three primary colours — blue, red and yellow. In the same period, inspired by the turbulent life of New York, Mondrian began to give his paintings names, not titles, again. The first such canvas was "New York 1" (1942), followed by "Broadway Boogie Woogie".

Here Mondrian first addressed the music theme. Of course, many artists did this before him, giving their canvases the names of musical works (1, 2, 3). But Mondrian was one of the first to turn his attention to modern rhythms. A passionate lover of music and dance, he used to prefer tango and two-step to waltz. Back in the late 1920s, he named two of his works "Foxtrot A"and "Foxtrot B" in honour of the American dance that made a lot of noise in Europe. Jazz and boogie-woogie had a strong influence on Mondrian’s work. It was the ragged syncope rhythm that admired the artist so much that he strove to depict in his canvases. He addressed this topic one more time in his last work "The Victory of the Boogie Woogie"(1944).

But the artist tried to convey not just the musical rhythm in his art. If you look at Broadway Boogie Woogie, you can clearly see the streets of the big city, which are living their own lives. Their movement does not stop even for a second, but at night they are illuminated with multi-coloured lights. Reminiscent of the construction of Lego bricks, the short lines and the elements of pure vibrant colours perfectly create the illusion of a constant movement. One gets the impression that if only one looks away from the picture for a couple of seconds — and next time the pieces of the puzzle would change their position.

Author: Yevheniia Sidelnikova