The Netherlands-based De Stijl movement

Table of Content

The Netherlands-based De Stijl motion embraced an abstract. pared-down aesthetic centred in basic ocular elements such as geometric signifiers and primary colorss. Partially a reaction against the cosmetic surpluss of Art Deco. the decreased quality of De Stijl art was envisioned by its Godheads as a cosmopolitan ocular linguistic communication appropriate to the modern epoch. a clip of a new. spiritualized universe order. Led by the painters Theo new wave Doesburg and Piet Mondrian – its cardinal and famed figures – De Stijl creative persons applied their manner to a host of media in the all right and applied humanistic disciplines and beyond.

Promoting their advanced thoughts in their diary of the same name. the members envisioned nil less than the ideal merger of signifier and map. thereby doing De Stijl in consequence the ultimate manner. To this terminal. De Stijl creative persons turned their attending non merely to ticket art media such as picture and sculpture. but virtually all other art signifiers as good. including industrial design. typography. even literature and music. De Stijl’s influence was possibly felt most perceptibly in the kingdom of architecture. assisting give rise to the International Style of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Key Ideas

Like other daring motions of the clip. De Stijl. which means merely “the style” in Dutch. emerged mostly in response to the horrors of World War I and the wish to refashion society in its wake. Sing art as a agency of societal and religious salvation. the members of De Stijl embraced a Utopian vision of art and its transformative potency. Among the pioneering advocates of abstract art. De Stijl creative persons espoused a ocular linguistic communication consisting of exactly rendered geometric signifiers – normally consecutive lines. squares. and rectangles–and primary colorss.

Expressing the artists’ hunt “for the universal. as the person was losing its significance. ” this severe linguistic communication was meant to uncover the Torahs regulating the harmoniousness of the universe. Even though De Stijl creative persons created work incarnating the movement’s Utopian vision. their realisation that this vision was unachievable in the existent universe basically brought about the group’s death. Ultimately. De Stijl’s go oning celebrity is mostly the consequence of the digesting accomplishment of its best-known member and true modern maestro. Piet Mondrian.


In 1917. Theo new wave Doesburg founded the modern-day art diary De Stijl as a agency of enrolling like-minded creative persons in the formation of a new artistic collective that embraced an expansive impression of art. infused by Utopian ideals of religious harmoniousness. The diary provided the footing of the De Stijl motion. a Dutch group of creative persons and designers whose other taking members included Piet Mondrian. J. J. P. Oud and Vilmos Huszar. Adopting the ocular elements of Cubism and Suprematism. the anti-sentimentalism of Dada. and the Neo-Platonic mathematical theory of M. H. J Schoenmaekers. a mystical political orientation that articulated the construct of “ideal” geometric signifiers. the advocates of De Stijl aspired to be far more than mere ocular creative persons.

At its nucleus. De Stijl was designed to embrace a assortment of artistic influences and media. its end being the development of a new aesthetic that would be practiced non merely in the all right and applied humanistic disciplines. but would besides resound in a host of other art signifiers as good. among them architecture. urban planning. industrial design. typography. music. and poesy. The De Stijl aesthetic and vision was formulated in big response to the unprecedented desolation of World War I. with the movement’s members seeking a agency of showing a sense of order and harmoniousness in the new society that was to emerge in the aftermath of the war.

Concepts and Manners

Pure Geometric Abstraction and the De Stijl Visual Language

De Stijl was the first-ever diary devoted to abstraction in art. although the movement’s creative persons were non the first to pattern abstract art ; other painters. possibly most notably Wassily Kandinsky. Kazimir Malevich and Hans Arp. had earlier created non-objective art. frequently integrating geometric signifiers in their work. But the creative persons and designers associated with De Stijl – painters such as Mondrian. new wave Doesburg and Ilya Bolotowsky. and designers such as Gerrit Rietveld and J. J. P.

Oud – adopted what they perceived to be a purer signifier of geometry. dwelling of signifiers made up of consecutive lines and basic geometric forms ( mostly rendered in the three primary colourss ) ; these motives provided the cardinal elements of composings that avoided symmetricalness and endeavor for a balanced relationship between surfaces and the distribution of colourss. In Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art. Mondrian explained: “As a pure representation of the human head. art will show itself in an aesthetically purified. that is to state. abstract signifier. The new plastic thought can non. hence. take the signifier of a natural or concrete representation. ”


Neo-Plasticism refers to the picture manner and thoughts developed by Piet Mondrian in 1917. promoted by De Stijl. Denoting the “new fictile art. ” or merely “new art. ” the term embodies Mondrian’s vision of an ideal. abstract art signifier he felt was suited to the modern epoch. Mondrian’s essay Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art. which set forth the rules of the construct. was published in 12 installments of the diary De Stijl in 1917-18. Mondrian described Neo-Plasticism as a reductive attack to artmaking that stripped away traditional elements of art. such as position and representation. using merely a series of primary colourss and consecutive lines.

Mondrian envisioned that the rules of Neo-Plasticism would be transplanted from the medium of painting to other art signifiers. including architecture and design. supplying the footing of the transmutation of the human environment sought by De Stijl creative persons. In Mondrian’s words. a “pure plastic vision should construct a new society. in the same manner that in art it has built a new plasticism. ” The construct of Neo-Plasticism was mostly inspired by M. H. J. Schoenmaekers’s treatise Beginselen der Beeldende Wiskunde ( The Principles of Plastic Mathematics ) . which proposed that world is composed of a series of opposing forces – among them the formal mutual opposition of horizontal and perpendicular axes and the apposition of primary colourss. Neo-Plasticism was subsequently promoted by the motion Cercle et Carre and three issues of its eponymic diary looking in 1930. Following Mondrian’s visit to the U. S. in 1940. the manner spread to the U. S. . where it was taken up by assorted American abstract creative persons.


While merely horizontal and perpendicular lines were to be utilized in Neo-Plasticism. in 1925. new wave Doesburg developed Elementarism. which attempted to modify the dogmatic nature of the manner by presenting the diagonal. a signifier that for him connoted dynamism – “a province of uninterrupted development. ” In “Painting and Sculpture: Elementarism ( Fragment of a Manifesto ) . ” published in De Stijl in 1927. he wrote: “If all our physical motions are already based upon Horizontal and Vertical. it is merely an accent of our physical nature. of the natural construction and maps of beings if the work of art strengthens – although in an ‘artistic manner’ – this natural dichotomy in our consciousness. ”

Prizing horizontal and perpendicular lines for their intension of stableness. Mondrian strongly disagreed with new wave Doesburg’s newfound accent on the diagonal–a dissension that famously prompted Mondrian to splinter from De Stijl shortly thenceforth. For Mondrian. new wave Doesburg’s debut of the diagonal amounted to artistic unorthodoxy ; in Mondrian’s position. the Elementarist diagonal repudiated De Stijl’s attempts to to the full incorporate all the elements of the picture by making tenseness between the composing and the image plane.

Subsequently Developments

De Stijl-inspired architecture. peculiarly by Rietveld and Oud. was built in the Netherlands throughout the 1920s. all of which. interestingly plenty. seemed to withstand van Doesburg’s theory of Elementarism. alternatively using clearly defined horizontal and perpendicular lines. De Stijl besides had a major influence on Bauhaus architecture and design ; several members of De Stijl taught at the Bauhaus. possibly most significantly van Doesburg. who lectured at that place in 1921-22. De Stijl’s geometric ocular linguistic communication. along with its architectural constructs such as signifier following map and the accent on structural constituents. would resound in Bauhaus architectural pattern. every bit good as the planetary parlance known as the “International Style. ” With Theo van Doesburg’s decease in 1931. De Stijl lost its leader. and shortly after faded from being.

However. the movement’s cardinal thoughts of pure geometric abstraction and the relationship of signifier and map were maintained by many following van Doesburg’s decease. and stand for a cardinal part to modern and modern-day art. design. and architecture. Many of Rietveld’s edifices. for illustration. last the length of service of the De Stijl motion. and inspired a great many 20th-century designers. among them Mies van der Rohe. Beyond the kingdom of architecture. the pared-down De Stijl aesthetic influenced many subsequent creative persons and interior decorators of the 20th century and beyond. among them the Abstract Expressionists Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Hard-edge painters Frank Stella and Frederick Hammersley. and Minimalists Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.

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The Netherlands-based De Stijl movement. (2017, Jul 13). Retrieved from

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