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Mondrian was a major figure in the development of abstract art - and his grid paintings have become iconic.

Like Kandinsky, Mondrian did not believe that art needed to be figurative to be beautiful - on the contrary : "Art has no direct relation to reality... so one will make as little use as possible of reality".

To prove his point, he chose to impose 3 key constraints on his work :
- only using red, blue and yellow
- horizontal and vertical lines
- 3 primary "values" - black, white and grey

Mondrian began experimenting with grid painting in Paris in the 1920s.

When the Germans invaded France, he fled to New York, where he became captivated by the city's lights and energy.

The painting is an homage to the city.