Piet Mondrian is without doubt one of the most influential artists of the fashionable period. So why is its market so unstable?

Piet Mondrian is without doubt one of the most influential artists of the fashionable period.  So why is its market so unstable?
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100 and fifty years after his delivery, the work of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian nonetheless appears as radical as ever. That is the thesis of a brand new exhibition, “Mondrian Evolution,” on the Basis Baylor in Basel, Switzerland (till October 9, 2022).

Mixed with Artwork Basel, the present is certain to attract the eye of among the most influential style makers within the artwork market. However is the affect of the Mondrian market as important as its art-historian? We dig into the Artnet Worth Database to search out out.


Public sale data: $ 50.6 million, acquired in Could 2015 at Christie’s New York

Mondrian’s efficiency in 2021

Tons bought: 7

Bought: 1

Gross sales charge: 7.5 p.c

Common promoting worth: $ 3.8 million

Common estimate: 63,217

Customs: $ 26.7 million

High portray worth: 26.1 million

Minimal price of portray: $ 63,616

Lowest general worth: For a portfolio of 20 silkscreens in a model of 5,301,150.

Piet Mondrian is without doubt one of the most influential artists of the fashionable period.  So why is its market so unstable?

© 2022 Artnet Worldwide Company.


  1. Provide is king. There’s a purpose why Mondrian’s public sale gross sales chart seems just like the again of Stegosaurus: The reason being characterised by the artist’s lack of market provide. Many examples of his most attractive and attribute neoplastic interval, which he began within the Nineteen Twenties, are safely stored in museums. Since 1999, greater than 15 works in Mondrian haven’t come to the public sale block in a single yr. Thus, on uncommon events when works of 1 or two classical intervals come available on the market in a brief time period — comparable to 2004, 2009, 2015 and 2021 বড় they create giant costs that have an effect on whole gross sales.
  2. On the high of the market. The Mondrian market peaked in 2009, when the artist noticed whole gross sales of $ 65 million. That yr, the gathering of legends from the collections of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berg included 5 Mondrians, all of which exceeded expectations. Dr. was main the staff Composition with blue, crimson, yellow and black (1922), which bought for .6 27.6 million, is sort of twice as excessive because the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The truth that the commercial market was nonetheless recovering from the recession in Mondrian’s greatest yr is additional proof that provide, not demand, is the strongest issue within the sport.
  3. Grid energy. Mondrian’s early shade canvases, which secured its place in art-history books, are additionally surprisingly the most well-liked available on the market. This account is for its high six public sale costs, that are above $ 20 million. In second place is the earlier, unfastened grid composition created between 1913 and 1919, because the artist was digesting the Cubist impact and dealing in the direction of the sparser, sharp picture. Considerably fascinating, however a lot much less precious, is Mondrian’s Pointlist portray from 1908 to 1910, in addition to his earlier landscapes, flowers, windmills and nonetheless life.
  4. The situation is unique. Circumstances are one of many necessary limiting components within the Mandrian market. Purchaser, In line with specialists, The artist likes to take a look at the brushstrokes and the totally different textures he locations. (Opposite to common perception, Mondrian’s work aren’t flat or minimal. As an alternative, they’re closely layered and at all times reveal the artist’s hand.) Collectors additionally need to see the artist’s unique mounts, which he created for a lot of of his work. However a number of of those mounts had been deserted over time, and his most fascinating work of the interval might end in floor cracks and heavy hand-saving efforts.
  5. Underneath the radar. For the reason that unique Mondrian works are so exhausting to return by, the artist has created only a small wave within the outcomes of the Artnet Worth Database search, drawing just one,257 paid searches final yr. For comparability, that is considerably decrease than a colleague like Jean Arp (2,921) and even Max Beckman (1,345). Lower than that Excessive Non-collaborators comparable to Mr. Brainwash (1,300) and Mr. Doodle (1,581).
Charles Carsten, Pete Mondrian in his studio (top) Lozenge Composition with Four Yellow Lines, 1933 (B241) and (below) Composition with Double Lines and Yellow, 1934 (B242), Paris, October 1933.  Collection RKD - Art History for the Netherlands Institute

Image of Pete Mondrian in his studio with Charles Carsten (high) Lozenge composition with 4 yellow traces (1933) and (under) Composition with double traces and yellow (1934), Paris, October 1933. Assortment RKD – Netherlands Institute for Artwork Historical past.

The final row

If Mondrian’s actual work — a lozenge-shaped striped canvas from the Nineteen Twenties বল say, or one among his syncopated late “boogie woogie” work – hit the market (publicly or privately), the sky might be restricted in phrases. Late final yr, Mandrian’s heirs sued the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork for restoration. Composition with blueOne in all 17 lozenge-shaped works by the artist in Paris, valued at 100 million.

The present Baylor present focuses on the early a part of the artist’s profession and goals to interrupt down among the stark variations between his numerous works. Curators argue that Mondrian’s relationship with picture and abstraction was extra fluid than it might sound at first look, with water reflections, crops, and different pure parts offering a through-line.

Mondrian’s basic work standing and market worth are unequalled. However each the Baylor present in 2017 and an enormous present at The Hague re-emphasize its earlier materials – suggesting that there could also be room for development on this phase of the artist’s market.

Simply final month, 5 preliminary works of paper had been bought at public sale. Priced above two expectations (1908 together with watercolor) ChrysanthemumWhich is a double-estimated revenue of greater than $ 579,600), when bought between two estimates and one got here beneath.

But provide, as at all times, is the largest drawback: his works are extraordinarily profitable and barely traded. Not dangerous for an artist who silently creates flower compositions yr after yr, to pay for radical experiments that nobody needs to purchase.

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