Reflecting the underlying spirituality of nature by simplifying the elements down to the most basic forms, the abstract paintings by Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian, are famous for the purity of their abstraction.
Born as Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondrian, on March 7 1872, in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, Mondrian grew up as the second of five children in a devoutly Calvinist home. From childhood, Mondrian was encouraged in art and music. In 1892, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam.
Celebrated as an important leader in the development of modern abstract art and a major exponent of the Dutch abstract art movement known as ‘De Stijl', Mondrian began his career firmly rooted in the representational form, favoring naturalistic and impressionistic landscapes. Influenced by the bold color and brushwork of Vincent van Gogh and the pointillist technique of Georges Seurat, Mondrian focused on a singular subject in this period.
In later life, Mondrian’s style was influenced by Picasso and Braque as it morphed into his signature nonrepresentational form which he termed Neoplasticism. In his mature paintings, Mondrian used the simplest combinations of straight lines, right angles, primary colors and black, white and gray. The resulting works possess an extreme formal purity that embodies the artist's spiritual belief in a harmonious cosmos.
The refinement of Mondrian’s abstraction as well as the utopian ideals behind his work had an immense impact on the development of modern art. His style was not only influential within modern art but its far-reaching impact can be seen across all aspects of modern and post modern culture. Devoted to his work, Mondrian’s life reflected the purity and discipline of his art. He remained unmarried and lived simply with few possessions. He died of pneumonia in 1944 at the age of 71.