Achieving balance by the use of opposition between elements rather than symmetry in Mondrian and Jung

Achieving balance by the use of opposition between elements rather than symmetry in Mondrian and Jung

Exploring the unconscious, collective and mythological aspects in Art

As psychology and the dive into the unconscious becomes a source of inspiration and new grounds for self awareness and discoveries for many artists of 20th century, Jung is trying to differentiate between the unconscious as something belonging to nature and art as something that is articulating in the organized way the access to the unconscious mind. Jung often referred to the unconscious as a violent force and observed early on that cultural conditioning more often than not suppress referencing to that aspect of individual. This somehow coincided with the formative years when the youth of the industrial era was preparing for life, and thus it was desirable to fit into the societal mold.

While many artists at the time were finding different types of expression to unearth the unconscious, a collective, mythological, archetypal, in synchronicity with psychology development, Mondrian was very much focused on removing the “mortal” layers upon layers of representational and into the core. This core is derived from straight lines but is never symmetrical, rather it is confronting the opposition in the proportional manner.

This is where Jung Mondrian converge, Jung went into the exploration of the unconscious and metaphysical not as an ideology (symmetrical expression) but rather as a comparison. Mondrian’s method is the same, rather than building upon an idea that validates itself on it’s own, it is rather finding it’s place among all the other corresponding aspects.


What is art and how to discern tapping into a plain unconscious which according to Jung is nature

When asked about his paintings:

No, it is not art! On the contrary, it is nature” Carl Gustav Jung

“The biographies of great artists make it abundantly clear that the creative urge is often so imperious that it battens on their humanity and yokes everything to the service of the work, even at the cost of health and ordinary human happiness. The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature that achieves its end either with tyrannical might or with the subtle cunning of nature herself, quite regardless of the personal fate of the man who is its vehicle.” (Carl Gustav Jung)

Mondrian gives his definition of art in the letter from 1914:

I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.[17]

Mondrian was born in 7 March 1872 in Netherlands and termed non representational movement called Neoplasticism

Even though invisible at the first sight, the layers of color, and brush strokes within the rectangular forms are in abundance. As if he was trying to communicate the nature of spirit which is always in layers in his vision. Just like Jung was always unearthing the layer upon layer of human mind.

The rhythm of relations of color and size makes the absolute appear in the relativity of time and space.
Piet Mondrian

Mondrian’s influence in 20th century art while at first drawing inspiration from Impressionism and Cubism in even greater degree, his idea is focused on plasticity in art. The interplay between the colors and the forms are expressed through various opposing elements, negative, positive, feminine, masculine, ….  until the piece of art has achieved a full abstraction and expressed the core of life.

All individual thought is dissolved in universal thought, as all form is dissolved in the universal plastic means of Abstract-Real painting. Piet Mondrian

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