May 18, 2014 - Tate Liverpool - Mondrian and his Studios and Nasreen Mohamedi
May 18, 2014


Left: Piet Mondrian, Compositie in Kleur B (Composition in Color B), 1917. Kroller-Műller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands. © 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman trust c/o HCR International USA. Right: Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, 1937–1990. © Courtesy Chatterjee & Lal.

Mondrian and his Studios
Nasreen Mohamedi

6 June–5 October 2014

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock

This summer Tate Liverpool presents Abstraction into the World, a pairing of exhibitions which interrogates architecture, the urban environment and the natural world, placing abstraction in dialogue with these contexts. Tracing the careers of Piet Mondrian and Nasreen Mohamedi—artists working in different eras and continents—the season explores how each arrived at similar non-figurative styles, suggesting correspondences between their practices and a parallel interest in bringing abstraction into reality.

Mondrian and his Studios commemorates the 70th anniversary of the artist’s death and explores Mondrian’s relationship with architecture and urbanism through his celebrated use of the studio as an experimental space for abstraction to take on a three-dimensional form. The exhibition traces Mondrian’s involvement with space as a concern explored both in his paintings and outside of them. Focusing on the connection between painting and architecture after Mondrian’s move to Paris in 1911, a major exhibition highlight is a life-size reconstruction of his Paris studio that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the legendary ever-changing neo-plastic environment. The studios Mondrian inhabited in Paris, London and New York represented both an ideal viewing space and a proto-installation extending the realm of art from the painting into the world. Yves-Alain Bois encapsulated these concurrent roles when he described Mondrian’s studio as ‘an experimental expansion of the work and the condition for its accomplishment.’ A selection of photographs of the studios on show document the role they played in his utopian plans. In its whole, the exhibition traces Mondrian’s gradual development of abstraction from the architecture of Paris into the explosion of painting expanding into three-dimensional space.

Significantly, Mondrian and his Studios is juxtaposed with an exhibition of pioneering Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi, allowing for a better understanding of both artists’ journeys toward abstraction. Though working in different times and in different parts of the world, Mohamedi and Mondrian had similar motivations in their practice and in what they aimed to discover and achieve through art. As the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK to date, Nasreen Mohamedi reflects on the artist’s path to abstraction, including a view onto her perception of the world more generally through the presentation of her photographic practice, never exhibited in her lifetime. The exhibition follows the phases of Mohamedi’s abstraction, from watercolours and large-scale paintings relating to natural phenomena, to intricately detailed line drawings made on an architect’s table that offer an intense exploration of the grid or suggest utopian design. Bringing together archival material, drawing, painting and photography highlights how these elements combined in Mohamedi’s practice into an investigation of abstraction from the everyday.

Exhibiting Mondrian and Mohamedi together, Abstraction into the World creates an unprecedented dialogue between Indian and European modernism through the lens of abstraction in relation to urban and natural environments.

Mondrian and his Studios is co-curated by Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool and Dr. Michael White, Senior Lecturer in History of Art, University of York.
Nasreen Mohamedi is curated by Eleanor Clayton, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool and Suman Gopinath, independent curator.

Tate Liverpool presents Mondrian and his Studios and Nasreen Mohamedi
Tate Liverpool
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