Shouldn’t be turned around
Mondrian image has been hanging upside down for decades
The iconic painting “New York City 1” by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian has been hanging upside down for decades – and so far nobody has noticed. However, one no longer wants to turn the painting around.
Piet Mondrian’s painting “New York City 1” has been hanging in the art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia for years – but upside down!
A main abstract work by the Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) has been hanging upside down in a German museum for decades, probably in the wrong direction. This was revealed by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen on Thursday at the press conference for the “Mondrian.Evolution” exhibition, which is being shown to mark the Dutch artist’s 150th birthday.
The picture “New York City 1”, created in 1941 and consisting of horizontal and vertical red, yellow and blue adhesive strips, has been part of the inventory of the NRW State Gallery since 1980. In contrast to the almost identical “sister picture” in oil that was created at the same time and that hangs in the Center Pompidou in Paris, the adhesive tape picture was rotated by 180 degrees shortly after Mondrian’s death in 1944, says curator Susanne Meyer-Büser.
Image shouldn’t be flipped anymore
The art historian presented several indications for her assumption. In a photo taken shortly after Mondrian’s death in Mondrian’s studio, the adhesive tape picture can be seen in a different orientation on the easel: the denser stripes are at the upper edge and thus run exactly like the oil painting in Paris. The course of the adhesive strips with their unclean tear-off edges also confirmed the suspicion. So it can be said: “The painting New York City 1 from the art collection is upside down,” said Meyer-Büser.
The picture was included in the catalog raisonné and thus generally accepted. In any case, the art collection no longer wants to turn the tape picture over. (SDA/chs)