Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • Try to imagine the artist working on this painting. How would the painting change if all the lines extended to the edges? If the yellow plane were also red? If the gray planes were white? If the color palette were different? If the lowest horizontal line was lowered an inch?

  • If you were writing a description of this work for a newspaper article with no pictures, how would you describe this painting to your readers?

  • Writing about his own development as an artist, Piet Mondrian said, "It is necessary to reduce natural forms to the constant elements of form and natural color to primary color." How has Mondrian treated shapes and color in this particular painting?

  • If Mondrian's painting were a person, how would you describe that person? Now, find adjectives that are antonyms, or opposites.

  • Is this painting symmetrical or balanced? Mondrian said that large areas without color could balance smaller areas of color. Do you think this is true? Explain your answer.