We generally rush past the fragments of abstract art scattered in public spaces and museums, sometimes with indignation or an ironic glance. For most people the lack of an object in a work of art constitutes a disconcerting experience, mostly thought to reflect the artist’s inability to create a design pattern. This paper suggests the opposite, that is, that the choice to break away from the figurative is a courageous one, and that artists who have taken this step succeed in conveying a universal message, on par with classical art.
On the 150th anniversary of the birth of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), some prophetic words of Katherine Dreier in 1926 still resound. She maintained that the Netherlands knew three great artists who, “although they were the logical expression of their nation, acquired international resonance thanks to the vigor of their personalities: the first was Rembrandt, the second Van Gogh and the third Mondrian.” The success of the current exhibition at MUDEC in Milan and the recent debates on the status of the artist offer us the opportunity to see how much his paintings have become part of our daily lives, while still claiming to understand revolutionary significance.