About us
Artists Piet Mondrian
Piet Mondrian Photo

Piet Mondrian

Dutch Painter

Movements and Styles: De Stijl, Neo-Plasticism

Born: March 7, 1872 - Amersfoort, The Netherlands

Died: February 1, 1944 - New York, New York

Piet Mondrian Timeline

Quotes

"The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object. Therefore, the object must be eliminated from the picture."
Piet Mondrian
"To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual."
Piet Mondrian
"The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel."
Piet Mondrian
"I don't want pictures, I want to find things out."
Piet Mondrian
"Even where the elements are perfectly regular, the order of the whole may be extremely elisuve. The precise grid of black lines in a painting by Mondrian, so firmly ordered, is an open and unpredictable whole without symmetry or commensurable parts. The example of his austere art has educated a younger generation in the force and niceties of variation with the minimum of elements."
Meyer Schapiro

"I wish to approach truth as closely as is possible, and therefore I abstract everything until I arrive at the fundamental quality of objects."

Piet Mondrian Signature

Synopsis

Piet Mondrian, one of the founders of the Dutch modern movement De Stijl, is recognized for the purity of his abstractions and methodical practice by which he arrived at them. He radically simplified the elements of his paintings to reflect what he saw as the spiritual order underlying the visible world, creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. In his best known paintings from the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes to lines and rectangles and his palette to fundamental basics pushing past references to the outside world toward pure abstraction. His use of asymmetrical balance and a simplified pictorial vocabulary were crucial in the development of modern art, and his iconic abstract works remain influential in design and familiar in popular culture to this day.

Key Ideas

A theorist and writer, Mondrian believed that art reflected the underlying spirituality of nature. He simplified the subjects of his paintings down to the most basic elements, in order to reveal the essence of the mystical energy in the balance of forces that governed nature and the universe.
Mondrian chose to distill his representations of the world to their basic vertical and horizontal elements, which represented the two essential opposing forces: the positive and the negative, the dynamic and the static, the masculine and the feminine. The dynamic balance of his compositions reflect what he saw as the universal balance of these forces.
Mondrian's singular vision for modern art is clearly demonstrated in the methodical progression of his artistic style from traditional representation to complete abstraction. His paintings evolve in a logical manner, and clearly convey the influence of various modern art movements such as Luminism, Impressionism, and most importantly, Cubism.
Mondrian, and the artists of De Stijl, advocated pure abstraction and a pared down palette in order to express a utopian ideal of universal harmony in all of the arts. By using basic forms and colors, Mondrian believed that his vision of modern art would transcend divisions in culture and become a new common language based in the pure primary colors, flatness of forms, and dynamic tension in his canvases.
Mondrian's development of Neo-Plasticism became one of the key documents of abstract art. In the movement he detailed his vision of artistic expression in which "plasticism" referred to the action of forms and colors on the surface of the canvas as a new method for representing modern reality.

Biography

Piet Mondrian Photo

Childhood

Piet Mondrian, born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, Jr. grew up as the second of five children in a devoutly Calvinist home in central Holland. Art and music were encouraged in his household. His father, the headmaster of the local primary school, was an enthusiastic amateur artist who gave drawing lessons to his son, while Mondrian's uncle, Fritz Mondriaan, was an accomplished artist who taught his nephew to paint.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Piet Mondrian Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Piet Mondrian
Interactive chart with Piet Mondrian's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Jan TooropJan Toorop

Personal Contacts

Theo van DoesburgTheo van Doesburg
Bart van der LeckBart van der Leck

Movements

CubismCubism
ImpressionismImpressionism
FauvismFauvism
LuminismLuminism

Influences on Artist
Piet Mondrian
Piet Mondrian
Years Worked: 1895 - 1944
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Ilya BolotowskyIlya Bolotowsky
Leon Polk SmithLeon Polk Smith
Ad ReinhardtAd Reinhardt

Personal Contacts

Theo van DoesburgTheo van Doesburg
Bart van der LeckBart van der Leck
Peggy GuggenheimPeggy Guggenheim

Movements

De StijlDe Stijl
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Color Field PaintingColor Field Painting
MinimalismMinimalism

If you see an error or typo, please:
tell us
Cite this page

Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
Available from:
[Accessed ]