Piet Mondrian
Painter

Piet Mondrian canvas prints & artprints

Rightly regarded as one of the pioneers of abstract art, Mondrian deconstructed the world of art by including new realities in his canvases. Through colour and geometry, he succeeded in creating a new vision of painting that would influence many abstract artists after him. The search for balance and harmony in his work resulted in the unmistakable abstract paintings of horizontal and vertical black lines and primary colours that make Piet Mondrian one of the most emblematic abstract artists of his time.

 

Discover the most famous canvases by the master of neoplasticism available in the catalogue, including "Composition II in red, blue and yellow", a great classic from his numbered series, with its perfectly geometric black lines and primary colours; his canvas "The red cloud", an abstract painting at the crossroads of his academic training and his attraction to abstraction; and "The red tree: evening", using colour to reveal another reality. Treat yourself to an art print by the genius of abstract painting, and find out more about his biography.

 

Biography of Piet Mondrian

 

Piet Mondrian's early career: training in the Dutch academic style

 

Piet Mondrian was born in 1872 in the Dutch town of Amersfoort, in the east of the Netherlands, into a family with a strong religious background. Raised by a Calvinist father, spirituality was to play a major role in the development of his work. From an early age, he learned to look at the landscape in his rural village, surrounded by nature. He quickly developed a liking for drawing, and was introduced to painting outdoor landscapes and the transcription of colours by his uncle, a Dutch painter who was part of the artistic movement in The Hague. Mondrian joined the Amsterdam Academy of Fine Arts in 1892, and although he learnt drawing, watercolour and oil painting there in the pure Dutch pictorial tradition, it soon became apparent that he structured his works by concentrating on geometric divisions, as in his paintings "Church of St. Jacob" (1898) and "Beech Wood" (1899), where horizontal and vertical lines already played a major role.

 

Fauvism and Cubism as inspiration for Piet Mondrian

 

Piet Mondrian made his living by reproducing paintings and portraits for wealthy art lovers. From the beginning of the 20th century, he developed his own personal palette by turning to Symbolism. He gradually moved away from the natural colours of landscapes and concentrated on the contrasts of the "pure" colours of red, yellow and blue. Still in figurative form, the painter achieved a form of abstraction, with an abstract reality thanks to the original colours he used, and through the multiplication of vertical and horizontal strokes. In this way, he tried to convey a different sensibility in his paintings, and his membership of the Theosophical Society, whose doctrine aspired to encompass all religions in order to reach a higher truth, also fuelled his abstract ideas, and gradually led him away from classical figurative art. It was also during this period that he discovered the modern painting of his contemporaries, from which he drew inspiration by experimenting with pointillism, luminism and many other innovative movements. In Amsterdam, he discovered Fauvism and Cubism, with the works of painters Van-Gogh and Braque, and those of the Cubist painter Picasso. It was a revelation for Mondrian. The colourful canvases of the Fauve movement and the pictorial language of Cubist works, using geometric forms in an abstract expressionism that was totally new to twentieth-century painting, led him down this path. He moved his studio to Paris to live alongside these avant-garde painters, creating compositions in search of geometry, purity of line, minimalism and the use of contrasting colours.

 

Towards a new path: Piet Mondrian as a precursor of abstract art

 

In 1914, Piet Mondrian left France and returned to the Netherlands, where he remained throughout the First World War. During these years, he increasingly destructured his works, wishing to go further than Cubism, which he found too rooted in figurative painting. He wanted to move away from reality to make nature even more beautiful than nature itself. He thus reworked reality in a totally imaginary abstract style. In a radical way, he focused increasingly on the independent elements, and completely disregarded the decor. In the end, all that remains in his works are abstract forms made up of vertical and horizontal lines joined at right angles. With tones inspired by the three primary colours, and the use of black on a white background to create contrasting demarcations, the abstract dimension of his canvases becomes even stronger. He was a pioneer in this geometric art with abstract subjects, alongside Vassily Kandinsky, Kupka and Fernand Léger.

 

Piet Mondrian, the personification of the De Stijl movement and Neoplasticism

 

It was in 1917 that Piet Mondrian finally reached the pinnacle of his abstract vision of art. It was at this point that he became close to the Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg, creator of the De Stijl magazine. Through this movement, they wanted to revolutionise art by promoting pure abstraction. The result was neo-plasticism, theorised by Mondrian. This style is defined by the absence of curves and obliques, favouring vertical and horizontal lines, by primary colours and non-colours, and by the absence of symmetry in perfect balance. This movement turned the art world upside down, bringing together painters, architects and designers in a total art approach. Mondrian moved away from it 7 years later, however, as his vision of geometric abstraction, made up of perfect rectangles, became ever more absolute. Around 1930, he increased the number of black lines, making black and white ever more present. During the Second World War, he left France and Paris for the United States. He stayed there for the rest of his life, finding in New York an atmosphere and architecture that echoed his compositions. His passion for jazz and boogie-woogie led him to move away from black lines to incorporate the notion of rhythm by adding colour. Following his death in 1944, Mondrian left behind a strong legacy, inspiring modern abstract painting and having a major impact on design and architecture, as demonstrated by a number of buildings such as the Rietveld House built in 1926. He also had a definite influence on fashion, with Yves Saint-Laurent, as well as sculpture, pop art, advertising and marketing, among others. His work can be found all over the world, at the Museum of Art in The Hague, where his famous painting "Nuage Rouge" (1907) or "Arbre rouge" (1908) resides, at the Musée d'art moderne in Paris, where "Composition en rouge, bleu et blanc II" (1937) resides, or as part of an exhibition devoted to the artist, who is regularly at the centre of exhibitions devoted to modern art.

Learn more about the life and the works of Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondriaan high quality framed art prints, fine art paper artprints or canvas prints

 
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