De Stijl

In 1917, two pioneering Dutch abstract artists, Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, founded De Stijl. Originally a publication, De Stijl, which means Style in Dutch, was a magazine in which the artists promoted their ideas on art and abstraction. De Stijl soon became a full-fledged movement which advocated a visual language consisting of precise geometric forms (primarily straight lines, squares and rectangles) and primary colours.

Key period: 1917 – 1931

Key regions: The Netherlands

Key words: geometric forms, primary colours, form and function, Neo-plasticism, spirituality, return to order

Key artists: Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck, Vantongerloo, Vordemberge-Gildewart, Gerrit Rietveld, JJP Oud


Theo van Doesburg, Arithmetic Composition, 1929-1930. Courtesy Kunstmuseum Winterthur

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