How Mondrian Went Abstract
Mondrian and his Studios (6 June - 5 October 2014), Tate Liverpool
Avoiding references to the real world, and using only the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), the primary values (black, white, and grey), and the primary directions (horizontal and vertical), Piet Mondrian created abstract paintings through which he sought to reveal universal harmony and order. This idealistic pursuit was shared by his fellow Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg. Together they cofounded the pioneering and highly influential movement De Stijl (The Style) in 1917. Through De Stijl, Mondrian and van Doesburg galvanized an artistic response to what they believed would be the beginning of a new era after World War I, where art and life would be integrated. His Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow (1930), with its gridded black lines locking squares of color into a geometric composition, exemplifies the visual vocabulary he created to express his ideas.
Dutch, 1872 - 1944, Amersfoort, Netherlands