This winter the Centre Pompidou
in Paris, France, opened an exhibition exploring the works of Piet Mondrian and De Stijl
. Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter and a key contributor to the De Stijl
Movement of the early 20th century. He coined the term “Neo-Plasticism” to describe this style characterized by rigid lines and primary colors.
De Stijl, or “The Style,” was a group of Dutch artists and well as a journal they published from 1917 until 1931. They sought to express a utopian ideal through abstraction, a fundamental reality rather than emotions. They simplified shape and color to their most basic, clearly defined forms. They worked with planes on a white background, adding only primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Symmetry was avoided; balance and harmony were achieved through opposition.
Neoplasticism did not end with painting, but naturally flowed into furniture
, interior design, and architecture. Straight lines and primary colors were used to achieve three-dimensional works of art. The Red Blue Chair
was designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1917. Originally painted in the “non-colors” of De Stijl
(black, gray, and white), it was repainted in 1923 to match the primary colors being used by Mondrian.
The Schröder House, also designed by Rietveld, was built in Utrecht in 1924 and is the best example of De Stijl architecture. Its facade is composed of intersecting, rectilinear planes in black, gray, and white, with primary colored accents. It has an open floor plan; in place of walls the house has rotating and sliding panels that can partition off space as needed by the residents.
influenced fine arts, music, typography, furniture
design, fashion, and architecture the world over. It proposed using geometry, asymmetry, and abstraction to express beauty. It had profound impact on the art and architecture to come in the Bauhaus, International Style, and Modern movements, and we can still see its effects today.
|Dress designed by Yves Sant Laurent
|Piet Mondrian, “composition en rouge, bleu et blanc II”, 1937
© Mondrian / Holtzman trust, coll. Centre Pompidou, RMN
Mondrian / De Stijl
December 1, 2010 – March 11, 2011
Place Georges Pompidou
75004 ParisGeneral phoneline : +33 (0)1 44 78 12 33