Data Interpretation: Methods and Tools
Paradata in Art-historical Research. A Visualization of Piet Mondrian’s Studio at 5 rue de Coulmiers
by Ryan Egel-Andrews
‘Three-dimensional’ is not a term commonly associated with Piet Mondrian’s aesthetic concerns. The abstract works of his mature period which begin to emerge after his return to Paris in 1919 are uncompromisingly flat, volume-less paintings which proclaim as their purpose the destruction of objectivity in favour of abstract line and colour relationships. However, the second Paris period is also characterized by an increasing interest in architectural space, both theoretically and practically, in which Mondrian devoted considerable attention to developing Neo-Plasticism beyond the edge of his canvas. To speak of Mondrian from 1919 onwards as a painter of two-dimensional, abstract canvases is to deny a complete understanding of his artistic ambition.
On his return to Paris in 1919 Piet Mondrian began to put into practice ideas he had been developing on the application of Neo-Plasticism in architecture. His studios were spaces where he made the first practical steps in this direction, organizing them in accordance with his artistic principles. This dissertation attempts to recreate a 3D model of the studio at 5 rue de Coulmiers using fragmentary documentary evidence. The model is then used to draw conclusions regarding the challenges Mondrian faced in the application of Neo-Plasticism in space with emphasis on visualization as a process that generates art historical arguments.
A video of the model of Mondrian’s studio at 5 rue Coulmiers, placed on the King’s College London Digital Humanities region of Second Life, is available on YouTube. The documentation is on the project wiki.
The order of illustrations below follows the book (please note the distinction between figures and plates).