Mondrian, who had escaped to New York from Europe after the outbreak of World War II, delighted in the city’s architecture. He was also fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie-woogie, finding its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic akin to what he called, in his own work, the “destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.” In this painting, his penultimate, Mondrian replaced the black grid that had long governed his canvases with predominantly yellow lines that intersect at points marked by squares of blue and red. These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by light gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz.
(Text from MoMA)
Sketch in the Sand
A poem by Oliverio Girondo
The morning strolls along the beach dusted with sun.
Floating rubber heads.
Tossing the bodies of the bathers, the waves spread their shavings along the sawdust beach.
Everything is blue and gold!
The shade of the cabanas. The eyes of girls who inject themselves with novels and horizons. My joy, in rubber-soled shoes, that makes me bounce along the sand. For eighty cents, photographers sell the bodies of the bathing women.
There are kiosks that exploit the drama of the coast. Moody servant girls. Irascible soda water, with a hint of brine. Rocks with the seaweed breast of a sailor and the painted heart of a fencer. Flocks of seagulls that mimic the weary flight of a scrap of paper.
And above all, the sea!
The sea! Rhythm of digression. The sea! with its spittle and its epilepsy.
The sea! . . . until you scream
like at the circus.
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