Texts by Simon Baier, Bernhard Mendes Bürgi, and Gregor Stemmrich
Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Barnett Newman (1905–1970) and Dan Flavin (1933–1996) belong to very different generations, but they have in common a rigorously ascetic approach to abstraction. Their intellectual, spiritual and social visions also differ significantly, but each experimented with more representational forms in their younger days, before arriving at a distinctive abstract modality from which they did not deviate for the rest of their careers. Working within the respective contexts of Neoplasticism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, Mondrian, Newman and Flavin combined abstract color and concrete form, forging instantly recognizable, stripped-down vocabularies that radically expanded (and simplified) the language of abstraction. This volume considers the sympathies between these three modernist pioneers, juxtaposing well-known masterpieces with seldom-seen works by each of the artists.