My Coincidence Goes Like This: Inspired by Abstract Art and Piet Mondrian

Acrylic on paper  

Day 154 alongside Mondrian’s 

Abstract art sits through the ages, connecting and supporting our malleability.

Today’s piece was inspired not just by the perceptive power of abstract art but by a stroke of coincidence. If, like me, you research enough, through different resources, and if luck is on your side, then you may experience a moment of coincidence that makes you wonder if it was orchestrated by a celestial being, just maybe.

My coincidence goes like this: back in September, I’d been particularly inspired by a headline in the Nature journal which hinted that earliest known art was abstract. But I let my inspiration take me away from this article, away from the article before I could know more. I come from a household that gives space for the scientific, just as it does the creative. This amalgamation leaves us with so much inspiration that we are prone to leave unfinished art projects and copies of the Nature journal lying about.

A couple of months later, my interest in abstract art returned when I came across Piet Mondrian’s quote, 

“The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object. Therefore, the object must be eliminated from the picture.”

My mind began to roil at this quote’s artistic and philosophical implications. A feverish feeling crept up inside me and begged to be let out, so I decided to study Mondrian for a piece for the CognEYEzant project.

Again, I came across the Nature article as I dove into the piles and piles of books, articles and ideas, trying to sort them, save them for a later, gloomy day. And again, the prehistoric, abstract ocher crayon creation caught my inspiration. 

Today found me reading this long awaited article. And at the bottom of this article, an article that had been sitting beside me for months, perhaps even while I was learning about Mondrian, was a reference to the artist himself.

This coincidence correlates to abstract art directly: abstract art sits through the ages, connecting and supporting our malleability.

Whether it was the ancient person on the southern shore of South Africa, who used a red ocher crayon to express something previously unknown, or Mondrian, who used the simple lines and minimal colors of De Stijl to embrace an unknown, abstract art has the power to touch our lives, to touch our abstract selves.

And perhaps, if we approached each other as a work of abstract art, a thing full of many contexts, full of many unknowns, we may begin to understand each other. 


Want to explore abstract art even more? Check out PBS Digital Studio’s The Art Assignment episode “The Case for Abstraction”.