Ivy Roberts has taught undergraduate-level film studies for over 9 years. She has a PhD in Media, Art and Text from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA in film production from Marlboro College. She also has a certificate in teaching online from UMGC and non-profit marketing and fundraising from UC Davis.
Don't let the mustache fool you. Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a cultural esthete and avant-garde intellectual. Mondrian (born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan) was a Dutch painter who gained fame in the art world through participation in the art group De Stijl and his innovative Neo-Plastic style.
Mondrian was born and raised in the Netherlands to a family in which education and art were important. His earlier work was influenced by impressionism, a contemporary movement that valued naturalism and the reflection of emotional characteristics of the landscape. Mondrian's work was also influenced by his interest in spiritualism and philosophy, most notably the popular late nineteenth century movements of Theosophy and Anthrosophy.
By the 1930s, Mondrian had adopted an artistic style situated firmly in abstraction. Abstraction is a movement as well as a style of art that encompasses many different styles of art that first became popular in the early twentieth century. This movement was a reflection on the social and cultural upheavals entangled with the circumstances of the turn of the century and the first World War. The style grew out of artists overwhelmed by existential crisis, subjectivity, and the artificiality of mechanical reproduction (in photography and mass industrial production, for example).
Abstraction then gave birth to Abstract Expressionism, which takes an approach called non-representation, which rejects the idea that paintings can or even should attempt to reflect the lived, visible world. Instead, non-representational art excels at expressing the inner feeling, desire, and mood of an artist reflected through composition.
In Cubism, non-representational style makes use of geometric form. Cubism was an art movement within the broader trend of abstraction in the early twentieth century, alongside contemporary movements in Vorticism, Conceptual, and Dadaist art such as Duchamp's Readymades. Cubism was characterized by many of the same qualities as Expressionism, with particular emphasis on geometrical forms and lines to create asymmetrical compositions.
While the titles of Mondrian's paintings sometimes referred to concrete objects, such as trees and landscapes, the paintings themselves were constructed from abstract geometric forms and primary colors. As an experiment in Cubism, Mondrian produced a series of paintings around the graphic composition of the tree. The series began with the depiction of a recognizable tree and degraded across compositions into an entirely cubist composition composed entirely of lines and geometric forms.
As the paintings in the series became more abstract, the viewer notices the correspondence as the compositions refer back to the first, representational tree. In a sense, the series was an experiment to see how minimal the composition could become while still retaining meaning and correspondence to a representational object. Compare Gray Tree (1911) with Composition No. XVI (1912/13). This type of probing into minimalism is characteristic of much of the work that came after, particularly its engagement with non-representation and abstract form.
Mondrian was an active member and participant in the Dutch art movement De Stijl, which is also known as neo-plasticism. Founded by Theo van Doesburg in 1915, the movement attracted artists working in different media, including poet Anthony Kok, architect J. J. P. Oud and composer Jakob van Domselaer. Mondrian contributed to the publication of the De Stijl journal, and to the formation of the group's philosophy on art.
The core principle of the art movement had to do with abstraction and minimalism resulting in a style characterized by geometric forms, asymmetry, and the blend of primary and monochromatic colors. In the twenties, De Stijl was influenced by Bauhaus and Dadaist art. The movement eventually disbanded and its style progressed into the broader movements of Cubism and Minimalism.
Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter known for his Cubist compositions and participation in the art movement De Stijl. While his earlier work resembles the impressionist style popular in the late nineteenth century, he became an advocate of Cubism after the turn of the century. He experimented with Cubist style, developing an approach to formal composition using asymmetry and geometric lines. Mondrian became involved with De Stijl, a Dutch artist group shortly after its founding in 1916. The group was also known by its style of neo-plasticism, and had influences on the other parallel movements of Bauhaus and Dada. Mondrian had a profound impact on Modern and Contemporary art, evident in his avant-garde experimentalism and contribution to art theory. Aspects of his innovative vision are still discernible in architecture and furniture design.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack