Dutch in­fants take a shine to Mon­drian

‘Boo­gie Woo­gie, Baby!’

Arab Times - - NEWS/FEATURES -

THE HAGUE, July 12, (AFP): Ever won­dered which artist is most pre­ferred by ba­bies? If it’s up to the or­gan­is­ers of a tour for par­ents with small chil­dren in the Nether­lands on Tues­day, the works of ab­stract artist Piet Mon­drian win hands down.

Eight ba­bies and their par­ents were cho­sen from a group of 400 hope­fuls to ex­clu­sively view Mon­drian’s paint­ings at the Ge­meen­te­mu­seum in The Hague, which houses the world’s largest Mon­drian col­lec­tion.

The ba­bies, rang­ing from four months to one-and-a-half-year­sold, and their par­ents were al­lowed an early morn­ing stroll through the mu­seum un­hin­dered by the usual crowds, the or­gan­iser said.

“From four months on­wards, ba­bies can see colours and con­trast and for this pur­pose, Mon­drian’s works are the most ideal,” said Brigitte Tim­mer­mans of Kun­st­fanaat­jes (“Lit­tle Art Fa­nat­ics”).

Mon­drian, who short­ened his name from Mon­dri­aan in later years, is best known for his can­vas “Vic­tory Boo­gie Woo­gie”, con­sid­ered one of the most im­por­tant works of the 20th cen­tury.

The ba­bies also showed a par­tic­u­lar pref­er­ence for the 1944 paint­ing, be­cause of its bright and con­trast­ing colours of mainly blue, red and yel­low, Tim­mer­mans said.

“We find that the ba­bies are able to fo­cus re­ally well on the ‘Vic­tory’. They were fas­ci­nated by it and to see this was some­thing quite spe­cial.”

Even with­out be­ing able to talk, it was clear from their re­sponses that they also ap­pre­ci­ated Mon­drian’s other works, she said.

“The par­ents — who are of­ten a bit ham­strung hav­ing to look af­ter a small baby — also en­joyed the day out,” Tim­mer­mans added.

Al­though the pilot project, called “Boo­gie Woo­gie, Baby!”, is be­lieved to be a first for the Nether­lands, the idea of tak­ing in­fants to view art has al­ready been im­ple­mented in Bel­gium, Ger­many and the United States, she said.

A sec­ond ex­cur­sion is planned to a mu­seum in the south­ern city of Dor­drecht in a few months, she said.

This year marks the cen­te­nary of the found­ing of De Stijl (“The Style”), the Dutch art move­ment of which Mon­drian was a part, known for its bold hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal lines en­cas­ing blocks of pri­mary colours.

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