Ian Yang
Advisor - China I Japan I South Korea

Exhibition about Piet Mondrian in Japan to celebrate 150 years since his birth

Exhibition about Piet Mondrian in Japan to celebrate 150 years since his birth

In the spring and summer of 2021, museums in Japan are exhibiting Mondrian works from Kunstmuseum Den Haag as well as from domestic and overseas art museums.
By Geke Dijkstra

Sompo Museum of Art (Tokyo) and Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (Aichi) are organising an exhibition devoted to the work of Piet Mondrian and in celebration of this artist's position as a pioneer of abstract art. The exhibition commemorates the birth of Mondrian (1872–1944) and includes fifty works from the collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands as well as approximately twenty works to be loaned by museums in Japan and other countries. In this international effort to bring together work from Mondrian's oeuvre, Japanese audiences will be able to enjoy the exhibit while the country is slowly resuming its cultural activities after the COVID-19 lockdown.

'Mondrian: In Search of Pure Pictures' exhibition at Sompo Museum of Art from 23 March until 6 June 2021.
Piet Mondrian: titan of modernism

The works to be borrowed from Kunstmuseum Den Haag will cover the broad range from early landscape paintings in the early Hague style to the series of compositions with straight horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours on a flat surface from his later years. Works showing the influence of symbolism after Mondrian's encounter with Jan Toorop in 1908 will be presented, as will works showing the leaning toward theosophy. These are experimental works depicting windmills, lighthouses, sand dunes, churches, and so on.

During Mondrian's stay in Paris from 1911 to 1914, he studied cubism and formed his theory of neoplasticism. In 1917, he and Theo van Doesburg formed the De Stijl group. During this period, Mondrian created highly abstracted paintings of still life arrangements and trees. In 1919, he returned to Paris and created a series of compositions that adhered to neoplasticism theory. By presenting extensive works of Mondrian who is regarded as a pioneer along with Kandinsky and Malevich in creating totally abstract paintings, this exhibition will introduce viewers to this titan of Modernism who continues to exert his influence today, long after his death, in fine art, graphic, interior, and fashion design.

Where and when to see

Check out the complete overview of Dutch cultural activities in Japan in our database. If you are a cultural professional interested in an international collaboration with Japan, feel free to contact our Japan advisor Ian Yang.