My Mondrian: Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 2009
Loctite, wood, rubber words in four languages: English, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish
24 x 24 x 2 in / 61 x 61 x 5 cm
Mondrian’s original 1930 painting is recreated using the names of pigments that he used (according to the MoMA’s restoration department upon Yael Kanarek’s inquiry). All seven pigment names – cadmium red, cadmium yellow, cobalt blue, ultramarine, zinc white, lead white and bone black – are represented in text that the artist has cut from natural white rubber. Translated and transliterated into four languages; English, Arabic, Hebrew and Yiddish; the words are cemented together in mass, seeming to peel away at the interface used at the surface of Mondrian’s painting. Unveiling the system and networks that enabled Mondrian to arrive at his conclusion, this work draws attention to the physicality of spiritual pursuit – as pigments come about through a multilingual exchange science and trade. The expressive tangles of line that develop in this piece bring to mind aerial topographies, open fields and agriculture.
Kanarek’s recent work explores the geopolitical and spiritual properties of language. Seeming diametrically opposed, geopolitical philosophy tends to reinforce difference whereas spiritual teaching expresses unity and sameness. In this piece Kanarek maintains a spiritual connection but chooses to mix the languages together – to the point where language becomes texture.