Room 2: Paris

Reconstruction of 26 rue du Depart

Reconstruction of 26 rue du Depart, Paris based on 1926 photograph by Paul Delbo

© 2014 STAM, Research and Production: Frans Postma Delft-NL. Photo: Fas Keuzenkamp
© 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA

In October 1921 Mondrian returned to the block at 26 rue du Départ in Paris, where he had previously lived in 1912-14 and 1919. He took over a new studio where he remained for almost the next 15 years, the longest period he occupied any studio space. Refurbishing it, he began to fix coloured panels to the walls, a practice he had developed in his previous studio. The close association between these compositional arrangements on the studio walls and Mondrian’s newly conceived neo-plastic paintings were quickly noticed by his many visitors. Mondrian’s studio became a crucial meeting point of the Parisian avantgarde and the subject of extensive commentary, especially when photographs of it began to be published regularly after 1926. However, its configuration in no way remained static, just as Mondrian continued to innovate within the painterly limitations he created for himself. When forced to move to another studio nearby in 1936, his first act was to remodel it, writing to the British artist Winifred Nicholson that ‘the studio is also part of my painting’, so central had it now become. 

The reconstruction shown here has been realised by Frans Postma using several photographic as well as archival and textual materials, and includes reproductions of some works of art featured in those pictures.