DRAWING SPACES / TELLING STORIES: ARTIST RESEARCH & INSPIRATION – PIET MONDRIAN

Piet Mondrian is one of the leading figures in the field of abstraction. A painter, He was a very important cog in the development of modern abstract art, as well as a major exponent of the Dutch abstract art movement known as De stijl (The Style). Mondrian’s early paintings were based on landscape & still-life subjects chosen from meadows and polders around Amsterdam, depicting subdued trees and picturesque lighting effects, as such subjects were prevailing trends of Dutch art. A visit to Brabant in Belgium would become influential in his approach as he drew inspiration from the calm beauty and clean lines inherent the landscape. His painting, Red Cloud, showed his departure from the traditional Dutch style to more of an influence by post impressionist Vincent Van Gough. he would also draw influence from Dutch artist Jan Toro, who led the Dutch luminist  movement, an off-shoot of French neo-impressionism. Mondrian moved to Paris in 1911, after being trapped in the Netherlands during the ww1.

Although figurative in style his fascination with Theosophy (a philosophy regarding divinity and the uncovering of natures hidden truths focusing on bonds that unite the universe) is entirely present. The triptych of 1910 however remained too literal to adequately express ‘invisible truths’ or mysteries of the world. Mondrian soon dropped his Symbolist art style to pursue something, anything, which could express his theosophical beliefs.  Mondrian soon began a journey which started at his work ‘Piers and Ocean’ in which began a purification of what he saw. He reduced the Pier and Ocean to horizontal and vertical lines and monochromatic tones.

 

 

 

Red Tree

The Grey Tree (1911)

Pier and Ocean

Farm near Duivendrecht (1916)
Composition Checkerboard dark colours (1919)
Composition II, in Red and Blue and Yellow 1930
Broadway Boogie- Woogie (1942)
New York City (1942)

                           Victory Boogie Woogie (1944).

 

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