The Chronicle Of Hanging An Abstract Painting
Updated: Feb 19
"Can we hang abstract art sideways?" "How to determine the correct hanging orientation is still unclear."
The wave of abstraction initiated by the theosophical society in the early 20th century was groundbreaking to the extent it still resonates in our time. It was always an obstacle for abstract artists to clarify that spirituality in their paintings is not really connected to the three-dimensional world we are living in, actually theosophical abstraction is a door out of our known humanoid dimensions. When we hang an abstract painting, Sure you'll want to ensure you're protecting the visual clarity of your abstract art by keeping it out of direct sunlight. Extensive periods of time in the sun will discolor and fade your art, whilst the glare can prevent full comfort and satisfaction.
Yes…you can turn your abstract paintings in a different direction and have a new look to your space. Just because the artist's signature on the painting is horizontal doesn't mean that you can't like it better as a vertical for your space. Artists decide the orientation on which an abstract painting should be hung according to their inspiration, but for other amateur viewers, the correct hanging orientation that creates the highest aesthetic appreciation for an abstract painting is usually unknown.
Mondrian painting has been hanging upside down for 75 years!
Who Is Piet Mondrian
"To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual.” - Piet Mondrian
“I am always driven to the spiritual,” Mondrian stated. “Through Theosophy, I became aware that art could provide a transition to the finer regions, which I will call the spiritual realm.”
Piet Mondrian is a Dutch painter who carved a unique niche for himself, a pioneer artist in the early wave of abstract art "the new art form that was introduced to the world in the early 20th century. In the first decade of the 20th century, Piet Mondrian began to make a transition in his style. His works start moving towards a pointillist and cubist style, as well as other abstract mediums that he engaged in at this early stage of his career. In 1911 he saw for the first time the early Cubist works of Pablo Picasso. He was profoundly impressed. Almost immediately he began to adopt the concept of Cubism to his own use, toward abstraction further than he ever had before.
In the summer of 1914 Piet Mondrian returned to the Netherlands for to visit his family, and the outbreak of World War I prevented him from returning to Paris. During this period, he decided to work on an abstract art form which later on was classified as neoplastic style. He also developed work that delved into the spiritual realm and created more of a connection with religion, and his faith, as opposed to the prior works which were not focused on this point. Once the war had come to a close, Piet Mondrian decided to return to Paris, he began to work with Theo van Doesburg, and this is when they developed the De Stijl movement which was quite famous and is possibly what Piet Mondrian is most well known for. When World War II began, Piet Mondrian decided to make the move over to London, and he eventually wound up in the US, living in New York. In 1942 he held his first solo exhibition.
Piet Mondrian died of pneumonia on 1 February 1944 and was interred at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
"The Painting New York City 1942 Has Been Hanged Upside Down For 75 Years."
Unlike most of Mondrian’s earlier works, "New York City I" does not bear the artist’s signature, possibly because he hadn’t deemed it finished. Despite the discovery, Piet Mondrian work, titled New York City I, will continue to be displayed the wrong way up to avoid damaging it. The original artwork has been hanging upside down in various museums since it was first put on display 75 years ago, an art historian has found, but warned it could disintegrate if it was hung the right side up now. An abstraction of red, yellow, black, and blue adhesive tapes titled New York City I, was first put on display at New York’s MoMA in 1945, and it is at the art collection of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf since 1980.
The way the picture is currently hung shows the multicoloured lines thickening at the bottom, However, when curator Susanne Meyer-Büser started researching the museum’s new show on the Dutch avant-garde artist earlier this year, she realized the picture should be the other way around. “The thickening of the grid should be at the top, like a dark sky,” said Meyer-Büser. “Once I pointed it out to the other curators, we realized it was very obvious. I am 100% certain the picture is the wrong way around.” Meyer-Büser said it was likely that Mondrian worked by starting his intricate layering with a line right at the top of the frame and then worked his way down, which would also explain why some of the yellow lines stop a few millimeters short of the bottom edge. A photograph of Mondrian’s studio, taken a few days after the artist’s death and published in American lifestyle magazine Town and Country in June 1944, also shows the same picture sitting on an easel the other way up.
In spite of all the evidence pointing to the work being currently displayed upside down, the work will be shown the way it has hung for 75 years in the new Mondrian. “The adhesive tapes are already extremely loose and hanging by a thread,” Meyer-Büser said. “If you were to turn it upside down now, gravity would pull it into another direction. And it’s now part of the work’s story.”
Jackson Pollock Painting From Four Sides, On A Floored Canvas!
"A walk round the floored canvas, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting."
Pollock observed Native American sand painting demonstrations in the 1940s. Referring to his style of painting on the floor, Pollock stated, "I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk round it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. This is akin to the methods of the Indian sand painters of the West." Pollock usually had an idea of how he wanted a particular work to appear. His technique combined the movement of his body, over which he had control, the viscous flow of paint, the force of gravity, and the absorption of paint into the canvas. It was a mixture of controllable and uncontrollable factors. Flinging, dripping, pouring, and spattering, he would move energetically around the canvas, almost as if in a dance, and would not stop until he saw what he wanted to see. Pollock, having grown up in the West, was exposed to Native American art early. In fact, Pollock recollected witnessing Indian rituals as a child, such rituals played an important role in the development of his artistic process. Pollock was inspired by Indian sand painters who created temporary works of art as part of a religious ritual as well as the notion that art-making is a spiritual process. he turned to drip paint in a shamanistic attempt to heal himself; not coincidentally, Indian sand painting is often part of a healing ritual.
Lucifer Painting By Jackson Pollock
"The painting actually, has no direction."
Lucifer Painting, in which Pollock freely admitted total retrenchment from traditional methods of oil painting, at some point in the process of painting, Pollock laid down his brush and began instead to drip and spatter his pigment, not quite completely covering the underlayer, into which he also embedded small pieces of gravel to increase the texture. Jackson Pollock painted this artwork while walking around it, painted from four sides, and literally, the painting has no direction. The scattered Emerald Green Paint drippings may represent the presence of Lucifer on the dark matter of the universe "represented as black paint drippings underneath".
What we need to know is not the direction of the painting because actually, it has no direction, what we really need to see is that Lucifer Painting is emphasizing the connection between Jackson Pollock and the New Age movement "A spiritual or non-scientific movement includes activities such as meditation, astrology, and alternative medicine, also belief in reincarnation and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees..".
So when we get to answer the question, how to hang a piece of abstract art? You have to hang it so you see it the way you first fell in love with the painting, Forget about the artist's signature, forget about anything else, hang it where you get the most out of the work of art. "Everything else will fit around it".