Unity in Diversity: Art as the Temporal Reflection of the Universal

By Runette Kruger.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In my paper I will investigate the way in which visual art can be interpreted as an attempt to unify seeming opposites, such as for instance the individual and the universal, the subjective and the objective. I will focus on early Modernist art, with particular reference to the ideas and theoretical framework of early twentieth century Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Art which has as its aim the establishment of unity in diversity, as I argue is true of Mondrian's art, has the abilty to stimulate consciousness of the interrelation of ideas, events and ultimately of humanity. In my paper I visit theories on the fourth dimension as a higher, unifying plane (from a philosophical point of view), the notion of Geist as used by Hegel in his philosophical writings, the relation between Geist and Dao (a concept addressed in Chinese philosophy), and the theory of monism as a philosophical construct. I will show how these ideas are expressed in the abstract paintings of Piet Mondrian, and how the notion of monism can be related to contemporary discourse on diversity.

Keywords: Unity in Diversity, Mondrian, Early Modernist Abstract Painting, The Fourth Dimension, Geist, Dao, Monism

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.267-274. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 534.517KB).

Runette Kruger

Lecturer, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Committee Member Ceramics Southern Africa, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

I am a full time lecturer in Ceramic Design and Art Theory in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Faculty of the Arts, at the Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. I have recently obtained an M-Tech FA (Magister Technologiae in Fine Arts), where, in my dissertation, I investigated the way in which early Modernist abstract art has been evaluated and commented on in Modernist and Post-Modernist art criticism. I have published articles on the work and ideas of Piet Mondrian in accredited academic journals. I am furthermore also a practicing artist. I build ceramic vessels in which I address the notion of the interrelatedness of world historical and artistic phenomena, such as for instance the way in which Delft (Dutch ceramic ware) can be seen as the amalgamation of the arts and social concerns of Europe, Asia and the Middel East.


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