Article Number: 5463
Soft Cover, English, Staple Binding, 20 Pages, 2013
Mark Manders

Padiglione Olanda

Dutch Pavilion International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

As I approach Rietveld’s pavilion at the Giardini, my gaze rests on the animated, broken walls of the building’s surface. The lattice of horizontal and vertical lines of the large central windows expresses a typically neoplastic rigor and geometry—the cadenced rhythm of the architecture of the façade reminds me of the dynamic vitality of the grid of colored shapes in Broadway Boogie-Woogie, one of Piet Mondrian’s last paintings. The tree in front of the entrance, on the other hand, makes me think of one of the Dutch artist’s earliest works, The Gray Tree: here, the arched trunk and leafless branches blend into a dirty, leaden sky. It is a tormented work, in gloomy tones—light years away from the reassuring mathematical harmony of his subsequent De Stijl production.