Correcting Mondrian – site allows you to create your own Compositions

Some friends and I went to see the Courtauld Gallery’s Mondrian || Nicholson In Parallel show (very enjoyable, especially when you’re all spending the visit drafting a screenplay where Mondrian is a man haunted by diagonal lines and Nicholson spends his time thinking up new ways to annoy Mondrian – mostly by buying him pots of green paint every time he visits and drawing circles on every surface).

One of the other results of the visit was that one of my companions – Filip Hnizdo – shared the wonderful Composition with Javascript website with me. The site is the work of Kostya Loginov and Vlad Yakovlev and takes the form of a Mondrian composition which the visitor can recompose and create anew. You can see what I mean in the gif above and video below, but here’s a bit more technical information.

Composition with Javascript is an interactive work made using HTML, CSS, Javascript and jQuery, based on Piet Mondrian’s “Composition with Yellow, Red, Black, Blue and Grey” (1920). It allows everybody deconstruct the original painting and form it again in whatever he or she wants. Lines are shiftable (just drag it with your mouse) and colours changeable (click on it). Texture of the painting was preserved for authentic look. One can play with composition, forms and colours, alter the harmony of the piece or even destroy it and compose something pictorial.

It particularly appealed to me because one of the things I find difficult about Mondrian is that his work has a veneer of obsessive harmony but the longer you stand in front of it, the more you start to see imperfections and imbalances. Several of the pieces in the Courtauld’s show felt so off-beam they actually made me twitchy because I wanted to grab a ruler and a primary colour palette and just “fix” them! This way I can solve what I see as Mondrian’s problems without being ejected unceremoniously from the gallery.

>> Living inside a Mondrian painting

>> Mondrian remade in books