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World of the Bizarre

Priceless painting found to have been hanging upside down for 75 years

By T.K. Randall
November 2, 2022 · Comment icon 10 comments



It's not exactly easy to tell which way up this is supposed to be... Image Credit: Piet Mondrian
The blunder, which had remained undiscovered until very recently, may never be rectified due to the painting's fragile state.
Known as 'New York City', the striking artwork - which consists of multiple criss-crossing colored lines - was painted by Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian back in 1941.

It originally went on display at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1945 before later becoming part of the art collection of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Dusseldorf in 1980.

Despite countless art historians and other experts viewing the piece over the last 75 years, only one managed to notice the fact that the painting had been hanging on the wall upside down.

Museum curator Susanne Meyer-Buser discovered the mistake after analyzing the painting for a new art show.

She realized that the lines at the bottom were thicker than those at the top, whereas the artist would have intended for it to be the opposite way around.
"The thickening of the grid should be at the top, like a dark sky," she said.

"Once I pointed it out to the other curators, we realized it was very obvious. I am 100% certain the picture is the wrong way around."

As it stands, however, it is unlikely that the error will ever be rectified because the painting is now so fragile that turning it the right way up could cause irreparable damage to it.

"The adhesive tapes are already extremely loose and hanging by a thread," Meyer-Buser told The Guardian. "If you were to turn it upside down now, gravity would pull it into another direction."

"And it's now part of the work's story."

Source: Huffington Post | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ouija ouija 1 month ago
As if it matters!
Comment icon #2 Posted by susieice 1 month ago
It's kind of hard to figure which way is up†
Comment icon #3 Posted by acute 1 month ago
The moral of the story: Always sign your artwork.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Zebra3 1 month ago
As an artist, I'll never understand why crap like this even makes it to galleries. Looks like it was torn off a wall from an old McDonald's.
Comment icon #5 Posted by jethrofloyd 1 month ago
Imagine if someone flipped Mona Lisa upside down for 75 years.
Comment icon #6 Posted by MGB 1 month ago
Now it's right side up and worthless †
Comment icon #7 Posted by zep73 1 month ago
She'd be known as gravity-defying-Lisa†
Comment icon #8 Posted by DanL 1 month ago
I'm with you Zebra3. I guess that art is in the eye of the beholder OR in the pocketbook of the person that owns the painting. If someone has to tell me that it is art then it probably really isn't.
Comment icon #9 Posted by HSlim 1 month ago
It's always fun looking at modern art and noticing that I could have made millions off of my children's scribbles
Comment icon #10 Posted by Susanc241 1 month ago
I remember taking my daughters to an art gallery in Leeds (U.K.) when they were in their early teens (1980s) and it was mainly modern art on show. †My youngest was very dismissive of the blocks of solid colour on one such exhibit. †Anyone could do that, she declared, and I couldnít have agreed more! †Itís not art, itís self indulgence and a gullible public buying into it. †IMO, of course.


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