From figuration to abstraction, the exhibiton explores the evolution of the artist's work through his use of colour.

View our video-tour of the exhibition, plus Mondrian and his Studios at Tate Liverpool.

Piet Mondrian is renown for his iconic series of geometric abstracts, yet look back to the early 1900s and the young artist was producing dreamy depictions of rural landscapes, populated with farmhouses and windmills. What unites these two distinct phases of Mondrian's career is his innovative use of colour.

Straying from impressionist ideals that were popular in the preceding decades, Mondrian refused to see painting as simply a means of capturing external reality. Instead he wanted his works to be expressions of spirituality, prompting him to radically rethink his approach to colour. From 1921 he painted solely using the primary palette, a decision which would lead his work into abstraction.

Not only do his landscape works reveal the manifestations of Mondrian's abstract thinking, but they also place his grid paintings in their proper context. Far from simple mathematical exercises in form, they were the development of Mondrian's search for a new universal harmony.

Turner Contemporary

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