Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s famous abstract painting could have been hanging upside down over the past 77 years. It’s been in museums since 1945 and is titled “New York City.” The Italian artist Francesco Visalli was one of the first to voice the opinion that the red, yellow, blue, and black adhesive placed on a white canvas piece must be rotated 180 degrees.
How the Decision Was Concluded
Curator Susanne Meyer-Büser shares the same view as Visalli. She revealed the possible discovery during a press conference last week, when a new exhibition was announced to mark 150 years since the famous painter’s passing.
Of course, more than one question remains unanswered. There are still some clues to mention, though. For one thing, there’s a photo of the artist’s studio posted back in 1944, where the painting is shown on its easel, rotated 180 degrees from its “modern” position. Mondrian himself considered the piece far from complete and didn’t sign it. This created problems for curators, as they didn’t know its orientation.
Will the Painting Be Turned?
Not everyone agrees that the painting has been hanging on the wrong side. Harry Cooper, who’s a curator at the National Gallery of Art, has helped prepare some of Mondrian’s exhibitions. He commented that the piece was still under construction. According to him, even though the piece might have been put on an easel, that didn’t mean it was complete. It’s possible, he says, that Mondrian intended to continue working on it.
Will it be turned the “right way?” As it turns out, many curators agree it should remain as it has been for so many years. The artwork is made of adhesive tape, which is already extremely loose. Turning the whole work of art upside down will cause it to pull into another direction, which could damage the piece even further.