Piet Mondrian – Dutch Artist (1872-1944)

Mondrian contributed to the De Stijl movement and art group, founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representative form which he called Neoplasticism. This consisted of white background, on which he painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.

Piet Mondrian - Self-Portrait
Piet Mondrian – Self-Portrait, Circa 1900

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/f5a116cf-9424-4a31-a37d-90894219767d by Kent Wang

Important leader in the development of Modern Abstract Art

Mondrian and the critic T. v. Doesburg founded a periodical called De Stijl (The Style). Mondrian wrote several essays and became a key advocate of the group’s artistic philosophy, later known as Neoplasticism. They advocated pure abstraction or “non-objective art”, arguing that the universe could be reduced to the essentials of form and color. They simplified horizontal and vertical line compositions using only primary colors, along with black and white.

Piet Mondriaan.jpg
Piet Mondrian (1872–1944) , After 1906

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian#/media/File:Piet_Mondriaan.jpg


What is the artistic development of his works?

In his early paintings, there are several instances of a precise Post-impressionist, and emotional use of color. From Mondrian’s exploration of nature, he gradually began to simplify and abstract the colors and shapes he saw. This simplification and reduction process would continue until he even painting from nature.

Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Victory Boogie Woogie (unfinished), 1942–1944
Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–1944), Kunstmuseum Den Haag- Piet Mondrian

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/1649f80c-7953-4762-8061-0b5cb08dd8e4 by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

Piet Mondrian - Composition No. III
Piet Mondrian Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue. (1935).

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ba80c9c9-494c-4b63-8bf0-1948a6722e6e by Kent Wang

Thanks to the rise of Cubism Mondrian was able to find a means to segment and reduce objects to their most basic forms.

Over time, he began creating all of his paintings using a grid-like format, painting squares, and rectangles of mostly solid colors.

Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Still Life with Gingerpot II, 1911–1912
Piet Mondrian – Still Life with Gingerpot II 1911–1912

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/f84e0710-fa78-482e-b629-39d688ab794c by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

His most famous abstract paintings include:

  • Composition in Colour A, 1917 (Kroller-Muller Museum),
  • Tableau No. IV with Red, Blue, Yellow and Black, 1924 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC),
  • Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue, 1929 (Stedelijk Museum),
  • Composition in Red and Blue, 1939 (Private Collection),
  • Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942 (Museum of Modern Art, New York).
Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), New York City, 3 (unfinished), 1941
New York City 3 (1941), Paris, Centre Pompidou-Piet Mondrian

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/33c2e84c-1e39-4970-bb21-cbc90cb87d0f by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

His Reductionist design style continues to inspire painters, stylists, and creative departments in advertising and packaging. In addition to being considered one of the most inventive painters of the 20th century, he is also considered the father of graphic design, founded on his basic grid structure.

Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, 1909
Piet Mondrian, View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, 1909, oil and pencil on cardboard, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/94046f6b-fa9b-4d36-bae8-49e953c1b9d9 by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

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