Dutch painter. A founder member of the De Stijl movement, he was the chief exponent of neoplasticism, a rigorous abstract style based on the use of simple geometric forms and pure colours. Typically his works are frameworks of horizontal and vertical lines forming rectangles of white, red, yellow, and blue, as in Composition in Red, Yellow and Blue (1920; Stedelijk, Amsterdam).
Born in Amersfoort, he studied art in Amsterdam and in 1911 went to Paris where he was strongly influenced by cubism. Returning to the Netherlands during World War I, he executed a series of still lifes and landscapes to refine his ideas, ultimately developing a pure abstract style. He lived in Paris 1919–38, then in London, and from 1940 in New York. His aesthetic theories – which were in part based on the spiritualist theories of the Theosophists – were published in the journal De Stijl from 1917, in Neo-Plasticism (1920), and in the essay ‘Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art’ (1937). From the New York period his Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43; Museum of Modern Art, New York) reflects a late preoccupation with jazz rhythms.
Space and Form
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