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The Dilemma of Piet Modrian

The Dilemma of Piet Modrian
(from the collection of Brian and Gwyneth Booth)

In this incisive tour de force, Mr. Otis makes supremely clear how difficult it was for the late great abstractionist to "give validity to long stretches of pigment, to make them evocative, mysterious, alive." Yet Otis obviously believes Mondrian managed to infuse the brightly painted areas with a tension which the surrounding areas intensify. Despite which, this pithy canvas was refused for a show in the Museum of Modern Art.

from Mr. Otis (Macmillan, 1958)

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