• Mondriaan and World War II
  • 2020-04-24T00:00:00+02:00
  • 2021-12-31T23:59:59+01:00
  • The exhibition examines the idea of ​'Entartete Kunst' introduced by Hitler and Mondrian's flight to America. There in the new world, Mondrian, now 68 years old, manages to renew himself as an artist once again and creates his masterpiece Victory Boogie Woogie.

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) lived in a turbulent time in which two world wars took place. Perhaps precisely because of this he was constantly looking for balance and equilibrium throughout his life and in the artistic field. Mondrian was convinced that art in the right composition and proportions could contribute to the harmony in the world.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler decided that there was no room for modern art in the Third Reich. Art that did not conform to the National Socialist ideas was labeled "Entartet". To show the people the moral decay of modern art, the Nazis organized the exhibition "Entartete Kunst" in Munich in 1937, which showed 650 modern works of art. Mondrian was one of the few foreign artists with two works represented in this exhibition.

The artist no longer felt safe in Europe and wanted to go to America. To this end, he first traveled to London in 1938 with the paintings he was working on at the time in a box. In London, Mondrian became acquainted with the English art world and with the American Peggy Guggenheim with whom he explored nightlife. It was not until September 1940 that Mondrian was able to take the boat from Liverpool to America. This was just in time, for not much later his London neighborhood was heavily bombed.

Ode to freedom

Mondrian thrived in New York. The city brought out the best in him. There, in the new world, the artist manages to reinvent himself once again and creates his masterpiece, the Victory Boogie Woogie. A copy of this painting was exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam shortly after the war, in 1946, as an ode to freedom.