Piet Mondrian (1872 – 1944) was a Dutch painter. Mondrian was a contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground with an asymmetrical grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the use of the three primary colors.
Mondrian’s arrival in Paris from the Netherlands in 1911 marked the beginning of a period of profound change. He encountered experiments in Cubism and with the intent of integrating himself within the New Art movement, he transformed himself into an entirely new artist. In 1915 he discovered abstraction and a series of works that would lead him to confront his first general problem: the definition of an abstract painting.
Mondrian’s work was strongly manifested during the inter-war period; in the 1920s he became one of the best-known artists in the world. In 1921, he joined the group “La Mouvement”, founded by Theo van Doesburg; in 1922 his first solo exhibition was held at Léonce Rosenberg’s Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in Paris, which generated a great deal of interest in his work. The artist moved to London in 1938 for a few months, and then to New York, where he would live for the rest of his life.
During his American years, Mondrian’s work underwent a profound change. Horizontal and vertical black lines now predominated and the colored surfaces were reduced to small rectangular planes. The white ground, initially neutral, became an active element in the composition. The artist also began to work on a large scale.
Mondrian died of pneumonia in 1944.