(pub. 5.8.12) 40 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
A uthor and illustrator: Wouter Van Reek
C haracter: fictional Mr. Quickstep (alias for Piet Mondrian)
O verview from the jacket flap:
"Mr. Quickstep (alias for Mondrian) is looking for the future. On the way, he bumps into Coppernickel. Coppernickel tells Mr. Quickstep he shouldn't bother looking since the future will arrive anyway. Quickstep disagrees, for the future he's after doesn't exist, but needs to be discovered. What stands out in this graphically distinguished homage to one of the great artists of the 20th century is the idea that the future is ours to create. A wonderfully imaginative story about art, vision and creativity!"
T antalizing taste:
"'Look, I'm on the verge of a completely new future,' says Mr. Quickstep. 'I can feel it.'
'But there's still something missing ... a touch of something so new it may not even exist yet.'
[Illustration shows Mr. Quickstep in his studio with classic Mondrian primary color square/rectangle paintings against the wall. And he's holding a roll of tape.]
'What have you got here?' says Coppernickel. 'This is great stuff! Does it stick to everything? Can I give it a try?'
and something more: The note at the back of Coppernickel Goes Mondrian explains that "In the 1930s, with Hitler's rise to power, Mondrian realized he could no longer stay in Paris, so he fled, first to London, then to New York ... He loved New York immediately, with its straight avenues, skyscrapers, busy streets and vibrant atmosphere... His new friends took him to dance halls where the very newest music, the boogie-woogie, was being played. .. New York thus inspired him to recreate himself once again... For the first time, he began to stick lengths of colored tape onto his canvases. This allowed him to move and shift his colors as often as he liked until everything looked just right. Only then would he replace the colored tape with paint. It was in this way that he created his renowned, Broadway Boogie Woogie."
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a wonderful Mondrian painting, New York City 2 (unfinished), that still has tape on it so viewers get to see Mondrian's process. As a docent for school groups at SFMOMA, I've led a fun art project in front of this artwork in which students use colored tape to create their own Mondrian inspired paintings. They always create wonderful art!