Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pete’s Take on Piet

This project is a little blast from the past for all my new friends over at the Mid Century Modern and the Rebuild|Restore|Reproduce groups on Facebook.

This piece is an interpretation of Piet Mondrian’s work that I made over four years ago in my garage woodshop in Albuquerque, NM.  It has since traveled with us to St. Paul, MN and now hangs on the wall of our little loft here in Lone Tree, CO.
It all began with a spark of inspiration that occurred at the Tempe, AZ Ikea store.  I saw these black, metal CD racks and the thought of using them to mimic the lines in Mondrian’s work (in 3D) just hit me.

I wanted to make a piece that was interactive, so I cut four panels from some left over cabinet-grade plywood and installed three double sided cleats on each panel.  (Stay tuned to see the cleats in action.)

The next step was to prime the panels.

Then it was on to some VERY careful layout using painter’s tape and craft paper.  This process required some real attention to detail to maintain a specific grid pattern.

Hanging the piece requires four small French Cleats all evenly spaced and level.

With the cleats installed on the wall each panel can be hung using one of the three mating cleats on the back.

Having three double-sided cleats on each panel allows the piece to be arranged in many different configurations.  This is where the precision of the cleat placement and the measured grid of the color fields really pays off.  Each panel can be placed at differing heights and can be flipped upside-down.  Here are a few examples from our old home back in Albuquerque.

Part of the inspiration of using the CD racks was to create a 3D effect.  As you view the piece from different points in the room, the “lines of the painting” shift, the color fields are broken and the wall becomes part of the painting.

I definitely like the piece more on our orange wall here than on the flat, white wall of our older home.  I think it adds a new twist with a color that Mondrian did not use in this series of paintings, and the whole piece just pops off the wall rather than blending in.

Thanks for looking, and if you’re interested in one of my latest pieces that incorporates salvaged shop materials, you can check it out here…


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