Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter born on 7 March 1872 in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Piet was born into a family with artistic interests – his father was a headmaster who painted as a hobby, and his uncle was a professional artist. Piet received his first art lessons from his father and uncle before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam in 1892.
Mondrian studied at the Academy for three years, receiving instructions on genre painting and realism. He subsequently made a living recreating the works of Old Masters in museums and giving art lessons. In 1905, Mondrian’s artistic style began to move towards abstractions. He joined the Theosophical Society in 1909, which influenced the theme of his subsequent artworks.
Mondrian’s art took another turn in 1912 after he moved to Paris and became familiar with the works of Cubist artists. Due to the war breaking out, Mondrian got stuck in Holland on his visit. He co-founded the De Stijl journal in 1917 with Theo van Doesburg, promoting abstract art among Dutch artists. Mondrian moved back to Paris in 1919 after the war ended.
Around 1925, Mondrian began to gain recognition for his abstract works, receiving patronage from wealthy individuals across Europe and America. In 1938, he moved to London, where he met Peggy Guggenheim, who exhibited his works at the Art of This Century Gallery. On 1 February 1944, Mondrian died of pneumonia in New York.
Piet Mondrian is among the pioneers of abstract art and is the founder with painter Theo Van Doesburg of Neo-plasticism, also known by its original name De Stijl (in Dutch: The Style). The movement was born in the Netherlands in 1917 and was characterized by extreme formal purity. Neoplasticists realized harmonious abstract compositions based on a strict geometry of horizontal and vertical lines and used only pure colors (red, yellow, and blue) and no colors (black, gray, and white). Neo-Plasticist research aimed to transcend reality and overcome the limitations of individual subjectivities to achieve universal forms. Because of this great theoretical clarity, Neo-plasticism profoundly influenced contemporary non-figurative art and Rationalist architectural research.
What was Piet Mondrian Known For?
Piet Mondrian was known for painting landscapes in a unique Cubist style. Mondrian reduced his landscapes to elements of lines and shapes on a flat surface and used a muted palette.
What Art Movement was Piet Mondrian Associated With?
Piet Mondrian was associated with several art movements, include De Stijl (Neo-Plasticism), Cubism art movement, and Modernism.
Piet Mondrian Artwork
Below are some of the artworks of Piet Mondrian.