De Stijl

This Dutch group of artists were named after a Dutch magazine of aesthetics and art theory founded by Theo van Doesburg in 1917. Doesburg experimented with many different types of art including poetry, painting and architecture. He had an incredible influence on the push for Modern movement and Industrial Design. The typical style of the De Stijl artists was quite simplistic and minimal, with structured pieces containing only horizontal and vertical lines, primary colours and simple compositions.

His closest partner in the group of De Stijl artists was Piet Mondrian who was a Theosophist and is regarded as one of the visionaries of early Modernism. Mondrian’s work was mainly focused around the idea of cultural isolation during the war time, and had acquaintances in the world of Cubism. His work depicted many war-like scenes however always had references of nature. His composition transformed however, and reduced to arrangements of rectangles of different colours with his ambition to rid of all evidence of brush strokes and was further disciplined to grey colours with only exceptions to primary colours.

The De Stijl style has since inspired many different aspects, with a strong influence on architecture. However, De Stijl artists still work on pieces in the modern day and are scattered across the globe.

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Written by Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones, studying Literature at Portsmouth University, with a passion for all things art and fashion, writer/reader/ editor/ artist/ dedicated shopper. Felicity looks after the Catwalk Yourself Art Dictionary.

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