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June 25, 2010

[Guardian] The Dutch artist Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His characteristic canvases, made up of bold grids of vertical and horizontal black lines interspersed with a narrow range of coloured rectangles and squares, influenced generations of artists as well as designers and advertisers.

When he died in New York in 1944, aged 72, his uncompromising abstraction, regarded as the pinnacle of avant-garde art, was renowned in both America and Europe. Since then his paintings have sold for millions. Recently, a painting dated 1922 from Yves Saint Laurent’s collection went for £17m. However, the two years that Mondrian lived in London between 1938 and 1940 is less celebrated. While it was known that he spent time in the capital, living among some of the great artists and architects of the day, this period has been largely overlooked. Previously, scholars viewed his time in London as unproductive and thoroughly miserable, but in fact Mondrian was busy making new paintings, socialising with new friends as well as developing a private passion for Walt Disney. (read)

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