Page 23 - Studio International - December1996
P. 23

Composition with Red, Yellow
                and Blue 1939-42
                31 1/4 x 28 in.
                Harry Holtzman Collection,
                New York
                                children this—the last reluctance to leave dissipated when   `How beautiful, how peaceful it is', I thought, 'and you
                                I received a letter from England saying I must buy three  see Mondrian does not hate green, or the country, his
                                bicycles to cycle to the coast with the three infants, one  eyes are full of its marvel.' Isn't it wonderful', he mur-
                                could hardly cycle, if the German armies came— Mondrian   mured. 'Yes, isn't it', I said.
                                wrote to me that he wanted to go to London too, or did   `Look', he continued, 'how they pass, they pass, they
                                he write, I forget, those were confused days—one of the  pass, cutting the horizon here, and here, and here.' My
                                friends maybe suggested he should travel with me, he  hand moved as if to touch them, as they passed by out of
                                had not left his quartier for forty years, they said—so we set   the window of the flying train, and I realized that what
                                out together. I had sent my children and my furniture  delighted him were the telegraph poles—the verticals that
                                ahead of me—he had sent his pictures. We sat in the train.  cut the horizontal of the horizon. The fundamental of his
                                As I looked out of the window, I said goodbye to a period  art of space, its perception, its comprehension. No super-
                                in France, that had been chaotic, revolutionary, inspiring,  ficial pleasure of lush flowering green countryside, no
                                intense, enlightening. I was saying goodbye to it for my-  light of a materially visible sunlight. The enlightenment
                                self and vaguely, prophetically, I knew it was goodbye to  of the harmony of opposites—the great two opposites hori-
                                an era, not only for myself but for the world. Mondrian  zontal and vertical—expressed in the two fundamental
                                the other side of the carriage was gazing wrapt on to the  opposites of white and black—white space by black line.
                                Somme country as we sped past it on our way to Calais.  But duality, duality leads to madness, they must resolve
                                It was September 21, 1938. The grass was lush and green,  with a trinity—so above the two paths of opposites, white
                                the poplars were green and soft. The sky was evening  versus black, horizontal versus vertical, sings the trio of
                                yellow, sunlight, a green peace lay over the marshy lands.   blue, pure blue, yellow, purest yellow and red, vividest
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