Ode to Mondrian, (or “Piet, RePiet, Three-Piet”)
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
You left as my father came, your legacy already abstracted into history.
Your metaphysical mind oxidized into your canvases.
Dutchland offered you up. Germany could not control you.
America welcomed you in. But you transformed the entire world.
Darwin only defined evolution, you continued the process,
Turning trees into geometry.
Transcending nature for spirituality,
You exchanged complexity for austerity, and delineated Modernity.
But breaking planes you did not do,
Always flat, dimensions two,
Let me help so they can see,
What life is like in dimensions three.
About this poem:
When I decided to transition from furniture maker to artist in the spring of 2021, I was in a conversation with a friend about art stuff and seeing things differently and breaking images down to their most elemental forms. She asked if I was familiar with Piet Mondrian? Pete who? I asked. She immediately emailed me some images of the progression of his paintings. I was mesmerized. Later that year when I started playing with canvases as three dimensional forms, I started pondering ways that Mondrian’s painting would be different if they were not two dimensional. The artwork that goes with this poem was one of the results of that pondering. I wrote the poem later to go with the artwork.