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Piet Mondrian: The first digital artist

The painter was an idealist whose ideas were doomed to fail—But his art remains as powerful as ever

By Sebastian Smee   July 2014

When we look at a painting by Mondrian, we must push to the backs of our minds all the ways in which Mondrian’s own dream was subsequently corrupted, trivialised, or re-packaged as kitsch

You’re swimming in a placid sea. You stop to look around, treading water, letting your mind absorb the feeling of immersion. For a moment, the sky and shoreline disappear. You lose consciousness of your body. Instead, you’re hypnotised by the ever-shifting undulation of the water all around. Sunlight spreading in every direction brings news of each inversion,…

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