Piet MONDRIAN
Lozenge Composition with
Red, Black, Blue, and Yellow

Oil on canvas
77 x 77 cm (30 3/8 x 30 3/8 in.)
vertical axis 108 cm (42 1/2 in.)
Private collection

From "Piet Mondrian, 1872-1944"

"Mondrian was invited to participate in the spring 1925 Onafhankelijken exhibition. This obviously pleased him, and he wrote to Oud on 22 April 1925: "I now have a fine piece ready that will probably be shown at the Onafhankelijken in Amsterdam. They invited me to participate, without payment, together with a few Frenchmen. I will be curious to know what you think of it." By 2 June, Mondrian had received bad news, and sent a postcard to Oud: "I hope you haven't yet gone to Amsterdam to see my painting. I heard that they dropped a crate on it so that it couldn't be shown. Nothing has upset me as much as this for a very long time. I have recovered from it now. Disastrous, isn't it? My very best work." In a letter to Slijper written two days later, he again describes the painting as "my very best work." By 24 March 1926, Mondrian had entirely restored the canvas, and wrote to Slilper: "The damaged canvas from last year is now lined and repainted, so that it is now even better than before; I have sent it to Rotterdam, where Cabos can probably place it for me."...

"In eight years of work, from 1925 to 1932, Mondrian produces eighty-two paintings, averaging ten a year. This production is roughly continuous: there are changes in rhythm and a noticeable slowdown after the outpouring of 1927, but no prolonged gaps, no serious crises.

"The years 1925 to 1927 are almost entirely devoted to squarish variations of the open type prefigured by the 1922 Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow, and Black. In 1927, Mondrian returns to the compositional possibilities offered by this type when set in a vertical format.

"The inscribed square of Hoek's peripheral type also reappears, first as a kind of displacement of the open rectangle toward the inside (thus becoming closed), yielding the discreet effect of a cruciform superimposition - that of a large horizontal band upon a less well-defined, vertical band. (This effect is first found in the diamond picture of 1925, formerly in the Cabos collection, unique at the time for its dynamic tension.) Mondrian soon abandons this superimposition effect, which will return in force with the canvases of the late 1930s."