Just when you thought those perfect little black and white Kindergarten Piet Mondrian grids couldn’t get any better, Kindergarten artists find a way.
We cut out black strips and glued them horizontally and vertically on our papers, just like Mondrian painted his lines horizontally and vertically in Broadway Boogie Woogie.
Then we painted paper in the primary colors – red, yellow, and blue – just like the colors Mondrian used in his painting that we studied, Broadway Boogie Woogie.
It’s a happy coincidence that our painted paper has very subtle patterns from the way the paint dried that makes ours even more similar to the current day patina seen on parts of the Broadway Boogie Woogie painting.
I deeply admire and respect that my school district, McKinney ISD, demonstrates the value it sees in helping art teachers stay current by offering to help send the art teachers to the National Art Teachers Association convention every year. Through this trip, I was lucky enough to see Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie in person when I was in MoMA in NYC, and I saw more details in person than I’ve ever been able to see in books or posters. In person, you can see how the oil paint Piet Mondrian used now displays some subtle crazing and has it’s own pattern that it acquired through the years.
Side note – it’s fascinating to see how science and modern art intersect with art conservation. For the extra curious, take a look to see how chemistry helps us analyze Broadway Boogie Woogie’s paint cracks non-invasively through macro x-ray fluorescence mapping.
This analysis shows us the main elements and the other elements (20 elements total) found in the paints that make up Broadway Boogie Woogie, and how all these elements have interacted with each other and interacted with different liquid materials layered on top of each other. Science is revealing the various reactions these elements have to each other (some paint crazed while other paint didn’t.) Paint chemistry gone wild!
And…to answer the cliffhanger of what our final step was to create our collages, after our black vertical and horizontal lines were glued on to make a grid, we cut our painted paper to fit the grids. Happy kindergartners, happy art teacher.
I adore these!