Slusser Gallery to feature Mondrian New York studio recreation

April 6, 1995

ANN ARBOR— ” Mondrian at Slusser,” a reconstruction of the Dutch artist’s last studio in New York, will open April 22 at the Slusser Gallery of the University of Michigan School of Art. The exhibition, free and open to the public, will continue through May 12.

The opening program will begin at 2 p.m. April 22 in Chrysler Auditorium on U-M’s North Campus with a panel discussion titled ” Mondrian: The Education of Vision. ” Participating in the discussion will be Allen Samuels, dean of the School of Art, and these U-M faculty members: painter Vince Castagnacci, sculptor Michael Kapetan, designer Jack Williamson and architectural historian Anatole Senkevitch. Also participating will be Jason Holtzman, trustee of the Mondrian-Holtzman Trust.

Some of the topics to be presented are ” A Painter’s Debt to Nature,” ” Mondrian: The Icon Reviewed,” ” Reconstructing Mondrian’s Mental Studio” and ” Squaring the Diagonal: The Architectonics of Mondrian’s Vision. ” At 5 p.m. a dance work by Jessica Fogel, associate professor of dance at U-M, with music by Stephen Rush, an assistant professor of dance at U-M, will be presented in the area adjacent to the Slusser Gallery. The opening and reception will immediately follow the presentation. The exhibition will include 10 of Mondrian’s ” wall works” created in his last years, 1943-1944, and five tracings by Harry Holtzman of other wall works. The reconstruction of the artist’s studio will include a table, bench and easel as well as his tools that include brushes, palettes, binoculars, fishing pole, palette knives, a miter saw, chisels, drills, pliers and hammer.

Accompanying the exhibition will be the music the artist played in his studio and ” Piet Mondrian’s New York Studio,” a film by Harry Holtzman.

Mondrian (1872-1944) worked in Impressionism, Fauvism, and a host of other European styles before turning to the abstract form. While in Holland following World War I, Mondrian and a small group of other artists began experimenting with mathematical simplicity, reducing all formal elements to flat surfaces bounded by straight lines intersecting at right angles, and all colors to black, white, and gray and the three primary hues, red, yellow and blue. Mondrian’s ideas spread throughout all forms of 20th century art, sometimes misunderstood and caricatured, appearing in advertising and even costume design.

The Slusser Gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday. Admission is free.


Vince CastagnacciJessica Fogeldance