Mondrian and Klee as a visual binary in Hopscotch

If Hopscotch is read in one of the two suggested manners, a short debate about the works of two artists, Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian, occurs early on in one of the first instances of dialogue (37-8). Although this debate ends with a stark “no” and a comment about the weather, it develops the character of Horacio Oliveira, and provides a visual representation of his warring identities: carefree bohemian, a man desperately trying to assign purpose to his life; Paris, Buenos Aires.

Paul Klee

Piet Mondrian

In a straightforward analysis of content, both painters are similar as students of color theory, aesthetics, and for their use of geometric shapes.  Yet, Paul Klee’s paintings are classified as expressionism, cubism, and surrealism to varying degrees, and “[h]is works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes his child-like perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality” (Wikipedia) Klee’s “colored blocks…create a color harmony analogous to a musical composition” ( As a painter associated with the abstract movement, Piet Mondrian is the founder of Neo-Plasticism defined as “an ideal art in which the basic elements of painting – color, line form – were used only in their purest, most fundamental state: only primary colors and non-colors, only squares and rectangles, only straight and horizontal or vertical lines” (

Amelia Wagner


~ by ameliabwagner on February 1, 2010.

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