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Victory Boogie Woogie, 1944 — Piet Mondrian, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Victory Boogie Woogie

Piet Mondrian

A photograph from 1942 shows Mondrian laying out Victory Boogie Woogie in continuous, uniform lines that he presumably then divided to form a variety of planes. He believed that the painting was actually finished at a certain point but later felt dissatisfied with the result, and reworked the canvas with modifications that death prevented him from making permanent. The canvas was thus left with the colored tape provisionally added during the phase of rethinking.

The space is very dynamic (not least because of the lozenge format) — its dynamism the result of a virtually unlimited number of planes interacting with one another. The finite dimension of the planes appears to predominate, but their enormous number and variety tend to evoke an infinite space. The infinite space of the lines is now expressed through the finite space of the planes. Everything varies in this painting, as it does in Broadway Boogie Woogie, but we no longer see any process leading to a unitary synthesis. It is multiplicity that predominates here.

Victory Boogie Woogie appears to present an endless sequence of possible syntheses of yellow, red, and blue manifested in constantly varying forms.

Analysis by Michael Sciam
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