Important leader in the development of Modern Abstract Art
Mondrian was a contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which he painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.
P. Mondrian and critic T. v. Doesburg founded a periodical called De Stijl (The Style). Mondrian wrote several essays for the publication and became a key proponent of the group’s artistic philosophy, which became known as Neoplasticism. They advocated pure abstraction or “non-objective art”, stating the universe could be reduced to the bare essentials of form and colour. They simplified compositions to horizontal and vertical lines and only used primary colours, along with black and white.
What is the artistic development of his works?
In his early paintings, there are several instances of a definite Post-impressionist, emotive use of color. But as Mondrian explored nature his own way, he gradually began to simplify and abstract the colors and shapes that he saw. This process of simplification and reduction would continue until he wasn’t even painting from nature at all.
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The rise of Cubism also gave Mondrian a means to segment and reduce objects to their most basic forms.
Over time, he began to create all of his paintings using a grid-like format, painting squares and rectangles of mostly solid colors.
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).
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His Reductionist style of design continues to inspire painters, fashion designers, and creative departments in advertising and packaging, covering almost every facet of modern life. As well as being seen as one of the most inventive of 20th century painters, he is also considered the father of graphic design, which was founded on his basic grid-style structure.
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