reunited by mondrian

22 October 2022 to 4 June 2023
reunited by mondrian

The Fries Museum has acquired an early painting by Piet Mondrian. It is a portrait of the Frisian couple Egbert Roels Kuipers and Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma. Mondrian painted the portrait in 1901, years before he developed his signature abstract style in red, yellow and blue. The portrait can be seen from 22 October 2022 to 4 June 2023 in the exhibition Reunited by Mondriaan in the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.

Anyone hearing the name Mondrian will immediately think of straight lines, and blue, yellow and red colour fields. Yet the Fries Museum has acquired a different kind of work by Mondrian, an early painting that shows no trace of of his famous abstraction. Indeed, at first sight it looks quite traditional. But there is something special going on in this portrait.
In fact, when Mondrian depicted this couple, the husband had been dead for eight years. The painter had to use a photograph as an example, as is evident from the man’s outer clothing.
But the woman, too, tells a story with her clothes. In her familiar black jacket and Frisian widow’s cap, she indicates that she still feels Frisian after living in Amsterdam for years.

In addition to the portrait Reunited by Mondrian also shows a Frisian costume with an ear iron, comparable to that of Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma, and photos and drawings of people in Frisian costume around 1910. A drawing by artist Ids Wiersma, on which he depicted his mem (mother) wearing a baggy hat and ear iron.

The Fries Museum is co-financed by the Province of Fryslân, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, the VriendenLoterij, the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation and the Friends of the Fries Museum.

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