By this point in his development, Mondrian has started to use the criss-crossing nature of the tree's branches to produce new shapes within them. These are then filled with differing tones, creating a beautiful matrix of colour that on initial inspection will remind many of Picasso's Cubist masterpiece, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The fractured elements with different tones, but all related closely to each other, might also remind some of a broken mirror, where reality can be seen, but in a slightly amended form. This tree composition is not one of the artist's most famous paintings but actually is highly significant in outlining the journey on which he was travelling at the time.
Those able to look up close at Composition Trees 2 will be able to make out the individual brush strokes made by the artist, including how he filled in some of these areas with relatively loose work. We can see him changing his mind, by adding a new tone above areas that had already been filled as he sought to amend the balance of the colour scheme, even though it was essentially all just tones of black, grey and white. He had earlier used a similar tonal approach for Grey Tree, though the forms there are much more obvious and that composition arrived earlier, when he had not moved as deeply into abstraction as he had done now. Those unfamiliar with this artist who arrive straight at this later painting would probably be entirely unaware of the presence of a tree, were it not for the title of the piece indicating so.
This painting from 1912-1913 is owned by the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag, in the Netherlands. They have a selection of this artist's work as well as a good coverage of other Dutch artists, which is the main focus of their charming collection. It is well worth a visit for those looking to learn more about art from this nation, and there are some artists included here that you may not have come across previously. Displays are rotated from time to time, so check ahead if you are wanting to see this particularly painting in person as it wont necessarily be on display at the time you visit.