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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1282–continued, & now with the Full Text book!

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[Earlier in this blog, about 1200 posts ago, a million words ago, I wrote about an extraordinary book by an aesthetician named Emily Vanderpoel. It is "extraordinary" in a narrower sense, and that "extraordinary" might not actually be positive for its original intent. The extra-intent of the book, what has come out of it for me, was something that was unintentionally accomplished by the author. The images that she used to illustrate her color theory ideas--the basis of which are not really comprehensible to me--turn out to be artwork in themselves, a found art, the artistry of the images taking over the original intention for the arrangement of their color. I've found the book now at the Internet Archive in all of its glory, and downloaded only 150 times. I'm still at a loss to know why this work hasn't received more attention

The idea of how we put parameters to something like the visual field is a gargantuan topic—it is something that architects and geometers and physicists and mathematicians (in general) have dealt with forever.

The full text is available HERE via Internet Archive.

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Mapmakers have perhaps the most visualized aspect of this on paper, performing the semi-miracle of translating three dimensions into two; physicists have a more difficult time, taking the opposite approach, sort of , and translating two or three dimensional space into x-number of dimensions. Anatomists had a difficult time of their subject until relatively recently in human history, what with the sublime religious curfews on messy knowledge and all coming into play, poking around into the heart and such as though it was an affront to the sanctity of the creator (M Servetus’ ideas on the circulation of the blood via the heart, making the heart a tool and not the brain or some odd conjunction of creative divine power, cost him his life, burning slowly alive at the stake…how mysterious the whole world of RNA Genotype-Phenotype Mapping and such would seem to him if he could have a peek into the future/present from wherever he is.)
Blogcolorvanderpoel_062

Color theory is old and pretty—as a matter of fact there is a very attractive gathering of color theory models (in black and white, though) displaying some two dozen or more color models from the last 400 years. People like Della Porta (1593), our old friend and resident oddball polymath crank Kircher (1646), the smarter-than-you-could-imagine Newton (1660), Waller (1686), Lambert (1772), the wide ranging and again polymathic Goethe (1792), Herschel (1817, who also ushered in our understanding of the other light-sensitive shape spacing medium of photography in 1840), the semi-forgotten Chevreul (1835), the beautiful Maxwell (1857), Wundt (1874, the early experimental psychologist who also looked for spirits/spiritmus and ghosts), von Bezold (1878), Rood (1879), Munsell (1918) Kandinsky (1914 and not decipherable by me) and Klee (1924), and so on towards the present, all tried to analyze the prospects of color.

Not in this list is the very highly problematic Emily Vanderpoel, who in 1901 and 1903 produced (in two editions) a lovely but mysterious book called Color Problems for the Layman, in which she sought not so much to analyze the components of color itself, but rather to quantify the overall interpretative effect of color on the imagination. I know this sounds begging and vague, but I really haven’t been able to make much headway in the work.

Blogvanderpoel_1057
I’m attracted to this effort because of its attempt at quantifying such abstract thoughts.

By virtue of this effort, though, Vanderpoel had produced a strikingly illustrated book, with 118 color plates, all very intense, and beautiful, and in its way exceptional—unique for it time perhaps. Had the book been written thirty years or so hence we’d call it some sort of constructivist/constructionist artform. But since the artwork in the book comes a decade before the first non-representational artwork in human history (or so), I don’t know exactly what to call it.
Blogvanderpoel_2058

I really don’t know what it is, but I know that it is not entirely accidental, this pre-non-representational artform, because controlled geometrical color art is not accidental.

In trying to quantify the color images of the objects in her study, Vanderpoel establishes a 10×10 square grid, dividing all of the color in that object into individual units numbering to 100. Then, somehow, she identifies the major colors and places them according to a system that I cannot understand within the grid.

Blogvanderpoel_3059

The net effect is glorious. I just don’t know how she got there—which isn’t normally a consideration in art, except that this work is an instructional on how to understand color in art and nature, and the explanation of the procedure is ethereal. Vanderpoel was and remains a respected author on porcelains and other applied and plastic arts. In this work she looked at her fair share of porcelain, limogues, clay pots, burial urns, glass shards, and the like; she also analyzed clouds, mummy cloths (and casings), dew on morning grass, brocade, the eye of a blue jay, feathers, and another hundred or so poetic arragenments of the stuff of teh world. I still do not know what this book is trying to tell me, but I do know that it is remarkable.

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1935

Stardust earth detail[Source: J Blog, here.]

The Golden Age comic creations of Fletcher Hanks (1887-1976) have an Eraserhead, biological badness feel to them, for me. They are extraordinary and interesting without being necessarily good, or even enjoyable. They are definitely a high order of something, but what that is, exactly, I don't know. OF his many accomplishments is a comic hero named Stardust, a scary god-like superhero of brutal intent, something that appears on Earth one day to fight crimes like a very grim crime-fighting undertaker. There isn't much emotion or feeling outside of some amount of fear and loathing–even when heads are being torn off and flung deep into space, there's not much concern.

The work is disturbing and maybe brilliantly crude. The use of color is grating and has in some very bizarre way a feeling of high-contrast noir black & white quality–it is very off-putting, as in the image above, with a yellow space and oddly-colored non-spinning Earth that a criminal mastermind has masterminded in order for humans to float into space

Stardust him/it/self is also a pail of wriggling trouble–he is a living thing of some sort, a god-ish type creature, that can change matter with thought, and can fly through air and space on brain/ether waves, can manipulate shapes of any object and turn into a star, among other things. Stardust is also disproportionate to what we think of as properly proportioned, and can bloodlessly rip off a head or stuff a man-monkey into a small place with brute force when it seems a deforming ray would do. Stardust also makes a rather bizarre appearance with a duplicate/extra Earth–a sub-category for this blog and the thing which brought my attention to Stardust in the first place:

Stardust double earth[Source: Lambiek Comiclopedia, here.]

Even the name "Stardust" just feels wrong, like the strip on the whole.

The Stardust adventure has it all so far as upset and disturbance goes–even the composition. For example, this panel showing the impending impact of explosive shells finding their mark on Earth, closely cropped in a silent stillness, making their way through yellow space to an Earth that is just barely included in the scene…and of course the one quickly drawn star. It is definitely a very distinctive mind thinking this stuff up–and as others have pointed out, that thinking was probably done on a drunken stretch of deadline.

Stardust bombs det
[Source here, single panel detail from full page below.]

Here's Stardust on his "accelerated ether waves" making his way through a blue space–I'd voe to know why Hanks saw the need from the dashed line inside the ether-fire:

Stardust flying detA portrait of Stardust–other people have mentioned Henry Darger in relation to Hanks, and its a relation that I do not see most of the time, except for images like the following, which have a very high-scented montage cleanliness to it:

Stardust portrait

Perhaps it is just the color theory aspect that puts people in mind of Darger.

The odd thing is that Stardust is mostly a mask-like character, and the villains–even when their head is detached and rocketing through space–have more approachable and believable faces:

Stardust head i-shall-destroy-all-the-civilized-planets2
[Source: Pop Matters, here.]

"Have Mercy" indeed. The embedded and troubled brilliance of Mr. Hanks did not. In roaming the internet for Mr. Hanks I've found some comparisons for him and William Burroughs, which is another connection I just do not see. At the base of it all Burroughs seems a comic in a very dark sense; Hanks just seems very dark, in a hurried but very different way.

Here's a very interesting read on Hanks and his publisher: Graphic NYC.

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1907

Next: on Intitutionalized Nonthinking: the "Negro Pencil" 1938

"…Where Light is declared to be not Similar…"–from the "abstract" of Newton's experimentum crucis

There were four main contributors to the 19 February 1672 issue of the yet-young Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, (No. 80, pp. 3075-3087). One original papers and three reviews of recently published books: the first book was a description of the coast of eastern India by Phil. Baldeus; the second, a work on the philosophy of "Renati Des Cartes"; and third, "an essay on the advancement of MUSICK, by Thomas Salmon1. These three have a common trait in that they are mostly entirely forgotten though the works seem interesting to me. The scientific paper was written by Isasac Newton: "New Theory about Light and Colors". Though it was his very first publication2 (coming at age 29), it was already the result of years' worth of hard thought and experimentation3. It also among the most important things he ever published, and was a direct link to his superlative and iconic work published as Opticks in 1704.

Newton--light809

(It is interesting to note that the date on the title page is given as "February 19, 1671/72". This refers to a bubble int he calendar system at the time, where in some quarters the old first day of the year was celebrated on March 25, a practice which didn't firmly disappear until 1752. So th e"1671/72" bit refers to the year being 1671 according to the Old System and 1672 according to the New.)

Newton was simply the most important person in the history of science. Aside from all of his many iconic and revolutionary accomplishments, one thing that sands out over the collective of greatness is that he applied a sameness in investigation of different fields, a constant standard of scientific method across the disciplines, which was not necessarily the case with science folks, even extending back into the dimness of the great ancient philosophers. This in itself was a most major accomplishment.

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JF Science Books Post 1880



Crsyon dead

All material quoted below is from the magnificent The Newton Project website, which contains transcriptions of Newton's writing in science, alchemy and religion, and also contains much correspondence.

There isn't quite a complete alphabet here, but I think it is close enough, and it does organize (for my mind) some early thinking on color-making by Isaac Newton (1642-1727) when he as 17 years old. There's much of interest on the construction of color here, not the least of which is some prosaic methods for coloring dead people and a general color for clouds. Things would get more involved, of course, as Sir Isaac would later write perhaps the most important books ever written on optics (in 1704).

After the half-alphabet there is an installment of Newton's mechanisms of art, containing instructions on the instruments of drawing, and how to do emblem work, prepare bases, how to shadow, how to enlarge and copy work, how to draw a landscape, and more.

But first, here's his list of how to make color.

How to prepare your colours
Such colours as have need of grinding you must grind them with faire water, then put them on a smoth chalk stone, & let them dry. then grind them againe with Gum water & reserve them in muscle shels for your use.

B is for Blood

A blood red colour.
Sinaper, lake, & vermillion make a good red.

Another
Take blew Inde & steepe it in water & put to it a little Verditer.

Another
Take some of the clearest blood of a sheepe & put it into a bladder & with a needle prick holes in thebottom of it then <6r> hang it up to dry in the sunne; & disolve it {i}n allum water according as you have need.

Charecole black & seacole black
Grind charcole very small with water, let it dry then grind it with oyle. thus make seacole black.

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1840

Its easy to assume a modern prejudice regarding the interior decoration of 1910-1940 school rooms, allowing a certain conceit and picturing them in shades of gray, the images formed being "colored" by the images of those things that we have seen, almost all of which have turned up in black-and-white photographs or movies. But of course we know that this can't be true, and that Humphrey Bogart didn't always wear a gray worsted in his movies, and didn't move that gray suit through gray rooms. Its just that the image-formation is influenced by what we've seen, and since what we've seen of these rooms is mostly without color, then our images are difficult to assemble outside black-and-white. This applies to just about everything from that era, which explains why it is such a glorious shock to see motion pictures or photographs of (say) New York City street scenes from 1944. (And why is it such a jolt to the visual system to learn that police cars in Chicago during the 1933 World's Fair were orange?)

This thinking came to the surface again this morning when I uncovered the Paint Specifications for the Model School, prepared for the East Cleveland Board of Education under supervision of the Foremost Authorities, and published by ARCO in 1939. It reminds us that the only thing that lived in black-and-white in those days are in our memories. (I've written about unexpected color in Lost German Color of 1927, The Very Describale Macro Color of 1937, The Color Green in the History of Squares, and of course the non-immortal 200,000,000 Pounds of Buttocks-or-Putting the Black-and-White back into Color, and others. [This item is available for purchase via our bookstore blog, here.]

Color school587

Color school592

The rest of the ARCO catalog is below; but first, here's a sample from the 200,000,000 Pounds of Butts post, showing the 1938 barroom in color:

Mar 14 7th red bar

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JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post

German color375[Part of the series on Color and its Abuses, as with an example of "When Color is Best in Black-and-White", here.]
Nothing quite says no-color as German deep noir of the mid- and late-1920's. These movies can be so deep and contrasted, so very black-and-white, with such stark Moon-like shadows, no dawn or dusk just night and day, that it can make you forget that outside of the photographs and movies that people were moving around in great swirls of color. And nothing quite helps you to remember this than by having a look at a book like one below, a DIY piece printed in Berlin in 1927, the Farbige Wohraume1.

German color377
It is of interest here because in addition to blueprints and sections of the furniture to be built, there are associated illustrations showing the completed work placed in a decorated room. And it just so happens that these rooms are highly, colorfully decorated–not that there's so much in the room, per se, but there is definitely a lot of color. [This book is available from our blog bookstore, here.]

German color371

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JF Ptak Science Books Post 1427

Vuibert308 Stereo viewing geometrical figures may or may not be useful–I find it a little off-putting, creating a slight dizzying effect, though I'm sure it helps others (particularly children?) see complex geometrical figures a little more easily., especially when it comes to crystalography images. Education was certainly what Henry Vuibert , the author of Les Anaglyphes Geometriques had in mind when he published the work in 1912. He had a long history in mathematics education, having founded the firm that bears his name back in 1877, a publishing house specializing in school texts in the maths, physics and general sciences. (We offer the book for purchase at out blog bookstore.)

Vuibert's book is a very early example of the use of the anaglyphe–examples of the use of the method go back to the 1850's, when d'Almeida used a version of the idea to punctuate lectures using a magic lantern; the (printing) process of the anaglyphe wasn't patented until the 1890's by L.D. DuHaron. It does confuse me or remind me quite a bit of Oliver Byrne's beautiful monster The First Six Books of Euclid in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters for the greater ease of readers… printed at the Chiswick Press by C. Whittingham for William Pickering in 1847. The book is, well, unusual and probably not at all usefu11. Bryne replaced all of the algebraic notation, identifying letters and almost all of the descriptive text with color and color codes, leaving Euclid mysterious, hidden, awkward, impervious, and, yes, beautiful2. As a matter of opinion this work presages the cubists (and especially Piet Mondrian) by 60 years, and all by accident artwork.

Byrnes 11.8



There are certainly much earlier works that tried to get at a fuller representation of geometrical objects, not the least of which was a 16th century Elements of Euclid in which the figures were cut-out paper, pasted into the book and attached to a string so that the reader could pull out the illustration and see it displayed in three dimensions. The elements of geometrie of the most auncient philosopher Euclide of Megara. Faithfully (now first translated into the Englishe toung…3, printed in London in 1570, was no doubt a great and exasperating labor of love, a complex "pop-up" book accomplished with sixteenth century technology. (The photo below shows the Smithsonian Institution's copy.)

Of course there's the very old fashioned way of representing mathematical concepts, and that's with sticks and stones and blocks and such. For visceral memory and practical applications, the idea is hard to beat, unless of course, you really beat it , which is difficult to do. But to me that's just what Major G. Mackinlay did in his Realistic Arithmetic, for Teaching Children the Elements of Arithmetic by Means of Special Blocks4, published in London in 1900–his ideas for the use of blocks was very sound and stable; his instructions (and in particular his illustrations) for what to do with the blocks was not. I am reminded of inscrutable, badly translated and designed instructional manuals for tech stuff that need a manual for the manual.

Here's one of the folding plates describing how to assemble the blocks:

Math blockis309

Then there are other sorts of wooden (and etc.) three-dimensional models, such as the (600+) gorgeous geometric designs housed in the Institute Henri Poincare, transferred there from the laboratory of geometry of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Paris in 19285. Most of these models were constructed around the time of vast change in mathematics and art (1900-1920), which means that many of them predate the revolutionary ascensions of Cubism and non-representational art.

And as long as were at the point of unintentional and under-recogniozed epochal works, I think that there is a broad book that could be done on exactly this topic, calling into play such examples as Georgina Houghton, Victor Higo, Emily Vanderpoel, and many others.

Georgina Houghton, for example, produced this non-representational painting in 1870 (or thereabouts):

Georgiana

And Victor Hugo, from the 1860's

Evocation of an island Painting - Evocation of an island Fine Art Print

And Emily Vanderpoel (1900 or so):

Art-vanderpoel186
In another, much earlier case of removing detail and adding abstraction for the sake of simplicity in representing an idea, Erhard Schoen, in his Unnderweissung der proportzion und stellung der posssen liegent und dtehent, printed in Nurenberg in 1538, presented these cubed figures (below). He used simplified geometric form to stand in for the curvy humans, replacing them with proportional stacks of boxes which would more easily explain to the younger reader how to represent the human body in space and in proportion to other things.

Schoen

I think that these were monumentally combative images showing humans in a radical, previously unknown way, much like the moving-through-space-and-time photographs of the somewhat forgotten Etienne Marey, who in the 1870's created what was essentially the world's first "slow motion" device. One iteration of Marey's apparatus was basically a long series of ganged cameras recording a motion for a Marey12 simple task at a given time frame and presented on a continuous strip of photographic paper, sort of like a motion picture with the camera speed set at three frames per second. The resulting images were phenomenal and showed people for the first time the exactness of all manners of simple motions–motions that no longer looked so "simple" once all of its aspects could be studied from captured photographic evidence. Even the act of hopping over a small stool or bending to pick up a bucket of water were enormously revealing in a way like Robert Hooke's Micrographia displayed the great detail and complexity of the seemingly simple fly. Perhaps the most famous of Marey's series of images was that of a galloping horse, which also for the first time revealed what exactly the horse's legs were doing and proving that almost every painter in the history of art represented the galloping horse incorrectly. His series of photographs (as in this sample below) show a fairly close fit to the work of the futurists (like for example Duchamp) who would come into being after another four decades.

Marey And Duchamp's Nude Descending (1912):

Duchamp

I do want to make it clear that this is just a simple note, a thinking-out-loud piece on how attempts to visualize things differently for the sake of explanation or education can come "unintentionally" close to what would become epochal works. More later.

Notes

1. Augustus De Morgan, mathematician and logician, wrote a very highly critical book A Budget of Paradoxes in which he describes hubbub, fakirs, frauds, perpetual motion machines, squaring the circle efforts, millstones and other useless books in the maths, and in here he sniffily dismisses Byrne's work. At best, to De Morgan, the Byrne book is "curious". But useless and curious, as I have seen many thousands of times, does not mean that it can't be attractive and beautiful, and the Byrne book is probably the leading candidate in the Bad & Beautiful category.

2. In his Victorian Book Design McLean calls the Byrne book "…one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century…a decided complication of Euclid, but a triumph for Charles Whittingham [the printer]".

3. This is also the first appearance of Euclid in English. The full title: The Elements of geometrie of the most auncient philosopher Euclide of Megara faithfully (now first) translated into the Englishe toung by H. Billingsley, citizen of London; whereunto are annexed certaine scholies, annotations, and inventions, of the best mathematiciens, both of time past and in this our age; with a very fruitfull praeface made by M.I. Dee, specifying the chief mathematicall scieces, what they are, and whereunto commodious; where, also are disclosed certaine new secrets mathematicall and mechanicall, untill these our daies, greatly missed. London, Imprinted by I. Daye, 1570.

4. From the Report of the Annual Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1906:

5. From the IHP website: "Most of the models were created by Martin Schilling in Leipzig between 1900 and 1920 and a few of them (in wood) were made between 1912 and 1915 by J. Caron, Professor of Descriptive Geometry in charge of the "graphic work" course at the ENS at the beginning of the century (between 1912 and 1915)."

Also this: "In the thirties, the surrealists, led by Max Ernst, were interested in these geometric objects. André Breton alludes to them in "Crise de l'objet" , an article in the magazine Cahiers d'Art (May 1936, No. 1-2, p. 21-26.). Man Ray took photographs of the models, which where published in same issue. He would later use them to compose what he called "Shakespearean Equations". Many artists, painters, architects and sculptors drew inspiration from them."

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1334

Color floor--cvr382I remember that the floor of my grandmother's beauty salon (in Great Barrington, Massachusetts) was a dark (gray on black?) rolled linoleum affair, not much different from the floors that you'd see (if you could see them) in black and white movies from the 1930's. Grandma's floors were probably that old–my memory is from the early 1960's and the salon was far older than that–and so they looked like you'd expect an old, shiny, kept floor to look. Plus you'd never really see floors in those older films, anyway, so it was difficult to see even if there was a design, let alone imaging a color.

That's why it is so surprising to see magnificently-colored floors in catalogs such as Armstrong Cork Company's Better Floor for Better Business (1936) and Home Decorator's Idea Book (1931). (Both of these booklets are available for purchase from our blog bookstore.) Color wasn't invented after World War II–it just seems that way. Color photographs, color home films and color motion pictures really didn't get a popular start until then, so it might be natural to assume that the world was a bit more bland in shades of gray before then.

Color floor--dining374
All the same, these floors are so terrifically colorful that they look to me to be like a tiny design writ large–like a design for nightclub's matchbook cover done on a 500 square foot canvas.

Color floor--kinder375
[This is a kindergarten room, by the way.]

Color floor--clothing store376

000-ebay--Oct 30 rubber floor965See what I mean? These floors are beautiful in a way that escapes beauty. I don't particularly like them nor would I want to live on them, but they do have a certain inescapable loveliness to them that is just not beautiful. Perhaps it is the odd juxtaposition of unexpected color. This is seen in sharper detail (left) in a post that a made ("There Was a Rubber Lady in a Rubber Room…) earlier in this blog. Or maybe it is the unexpected combination of colors, or the unexpectedness of the colors themselves, that is the driver to this lusciousness.

And then there are the swastikas.

Now the swastika is a very, very old symbol, thousands of years old, transcontinental, transoceanic, a transcendental image that was completely and forever corrupted by the National Socialist Party, a shameful symbol, a symbol turned into a hatefuil and horrible thing in just 20 years or so, overtaking two millenia of use. And here we are, in the early- and mid-1930's, during the time of the Nazis and Hitler and their free use of the swastika, here we are with this Armstrong firm from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, still using the swastika in design elements for their floors.

Color floor--swastika 377

Color floor--swastika 378

(Here's one page of floor design elements from the Armstrong catalog at left; and the detail for design number three at right.)

Armstrong was also in the heart of some country within the United States (Lancaster) that was very rich in symbolist design, but I think that this has nothing to do with anything. I'm also not making th case for their being fascist leanings at Armstrong–I'm simply pointing out that even as late as 1938 (when another edition of this work appeared again with swastika design) that the image was still acceptable enough to have as part of a part of a floor. It strikes me as deeply odd.

Here's another example from the 1936 catalog (and just to be perfectly clear I'm not highlighting the swastika part–it is offset in different colors in the originals):

Color floor--swastika 379

Color floor--swastika 380

I'm not seeing Nazis in my porridge, though Madison Sqaure Garden was still getting filled up by American Nazis for their German Bund meeting in 1936–I'm just pointing out that it seems surpising that the symbol was still being used in popular design as late as it was.

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1126

Confession: this may represent the coziest I'll ever be with the written lessons of Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1910). It seems to me that anyone who is an artist understands this book; to me, though, as a not-an-artist, it is inscrutable–the book winds up looking not much more to me than this Word Cloud. Its a shame for me, really, as this is one of my favorite periods in the history of art, and I enjoy color theory, and I like mixing up sensations and analogies to describe cross-field experiences (like the broad use Kandinsky makes here in describing artistic qualities in terms of music) all of which are strong elements of the book. Its a lovely book, with heavy paper, wide margins, and beautifully designed, but the text is mostly just words, and sometimes a jumbled pile at that. I've tried to read it many times over the years, but I keep on failing this book.

Wordlekandinsky

JF Ptak Science Books Post 1079

In a world constructed of nothing but right angles in horizontals and verticals, how would a diagonal fare?

Would it be like extraordinary confusion and then recognition of a sphere in a flat two dimensional world (as in Edwin Abbott’s Flatland), or would it be an astonishing moment of discovery like Robert Hooke’s Micrographia images, or a creeping, sweeping acknowledgment of first-seen perspective in Paolo Uccello?
De Stijl Mondrian_CompRYB
In the case of the cubist Piet Mondrian, it would be revulsion and disgust. Mondrian helped establish1 De Stijl (1917or thereabouts), with a philosophy of using lines to transform artistic thought onto canvas, and the lines were all horizontal or vertical, with square and rectangular shapes. These would represent the pure harmonies of expression, along with the primary colors as well as black and white.

Mondrian wrote “:… this new plastic idea will ignore the particulars of appearance, that is to say, natural form and colour. On the contrary, it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour."

Stijl co-founder, popularist, artist and editor of the movement’s journal, Theo van Doesburgh and his work (1924) introduced diagonals into the horizontal/vertical field in his painting “Arithmetische Compositie” and Mondrian quits the group.Van Doesburgh felt that the diagonal was more vital and important than the vertical and horizontal. Mondrian felt that this was wrong, and clearly raked the original ideals of De Stijl, and so quit the movement, which he felt to be compromised by one of its co-founders.
De Stijl van_Doesburg_Counter-CompositionV_(1924)
I can certainly appreciate Mondrian’s need to go; though, honestly, what the debate and reticence reminds me of is an episode from the original Star Trek series, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (1969). The story is about an intractable difference between two seemingly identical factions of the planet Cheron2–it turns out that the differences between the two sides is a physical one that was inconsequential to the crew of the Enterprise, but of all-consuming importance to the Cheronites. They were both white and back, their skin color cleanly halving their bodies on the vertical. But the "inconsequential" difference was that one person was black on the right side and white on the left; the other was the opposite. It was this difference that led to their planet-wide schism and abandonment of each other.

Its no wonder that the writers of that episode chose the name "Cheron", which is another accepted spelling of "Charon", the Greek ferryman who transports the dead to Hades.

Bele_lokai That's where this particular schism falls to me, though to those involved I've no doubt that the differences were as significant as 2D vs. 3D and flat perspective vs. real perspective, the blatant if not micrographic differences looming mighty small to everyone but those involved.
______
Notes

1. In 1917 it was Mondrian who coined the term Nieuwe Beelding (“the New Plastic”) , or Neo-Plasticism, from which De Stijl took its meaning. He set out the philosophy of the group in that same year in a series of twelve articles in the group’s journal, De Stijl

2. From Wikia Entertainment: "Cheron is a Class M planet located in the southern region of the galaxy near the Coalsack, which once supported a humanoid civilization of Cheron natives. In the 23rd century, the area of space was largely unexplored by Starfleet, so the race was previously unknown to the Federation."