Springtime for Mondrian

In the post I wrote about the visit to the Aubette I talked about how interesting I found it that there was somewhere  in Strasbourg designed by someone connected to De Stijl. I also talked about my attachment to the movement and the principle artist of the group, Mondrian.

One thing that attract me to the man’s art is the simplicity of the ideas behind it, the three primary colours within an upright grid or series of boxes with lines only at 90° angle to each other, the lines black and the only other colours allowed white and grey – two non-colours?

You can imagine my surprise just over a week ago when I was heading to rehearsal for Oh What a Lovely War and I passed the window of  one of Strasbourg’s two national chain department stores, Printemps, to discover that entirely by coincidence their window displays were clearly Mondrian inspired. The same use of a block of one of the three primary colours, the same grid shape and the same use of black and white. The headline for this piece is obviously a play on the fact that printemps is the French for Spring and ‘Springtime for Hitler‘, the title of the play at the heart of the Mel Brookes film, ‘The Producers.’

Whilst taking the pictures to illustrate this post JTO remembered that her father, who was an Art Director at an advertising agency in the 1960’s and 1970’s, had said that Mondrian was “not an artist but a typesetter and designer” as he was.

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