The Mondrian painting was expected to fetch more than $50 million at rare auctions

Written by the author Amachi Orie, CNN

Piet Mondrian’s black grid lines and brightly colored squares are among the most striking images of abstract art. Now, one of his most valuable paintings is up for sale and is expected to fetch more than $50 million, Sotheby’s said.

“Composition No. II,” which includes Mondrian’s artistic features, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on November 14.

The artwork with its blue, red, white and yellow squares is billed by the auction house as “one of the most significant and valuable works by the artist ever offered on the market”.

“Piet Mondrian’s exceptional works rarely come to auction, as many are held in the most prestigious museum collections around the world,” Julian Dawes, head of American Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby’s, said Thursday.

“The opportunity to acquire a painting of this quality is truly a once-in-a-generation event,” he added.

The painting created in 1930 was last sold at auction in 1983. It is one of only three to feature the main red square at the top right, Sotherby’s said. The other two works of art with this feature are smaller in size and are kept in museum collections.

“‘Composition No. II’ embodies everything you could want from a Mondrian: it is a seminal painting central to the development of modern art and emblematic of the enduring appeal of the modern aesthetic, with a calm sense of composition, spatial balance and order, and an excellent provenance,” Dawes said. .

“Composition No. II” is one of three works by the artist, featuring the main red square in the upper right. Credit: Sotheby’s

Mondrian moved to Paris in early 1912 after being impressed by the early cubist works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. There, he began to experiment with an abstract and fragmented way of representing reality. He increasingly used only vertical and horizontal lines.

The year his famous composition was produced, the American sculptor Alexander Calder visited the artist’s studio in Paris and the walls “were painted white and divided by black lines and brightly colored rectangles, just like his paintings,” he recalled in a press release.

“Few artists in the history of modern art have made such a bold claim as Piet Mondrian, whose grid style of abstract painting is truly a unique achievement in the history of painting,” said Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s European President. let go

“The work draws with an electricity that reflects the energy of painting in Europe at this time and remains as vital as when it was painted almost 100 years ago,” he added.

Mondrian’s unique geometric style and modern approach preceded the rise of abstract art in the 1940s and 1950s.