Theo van Doesburg (1883 – 1931) was a Dutch artist, who is regarded as the founder and one of the leading proponents of De Stijl. He advanced a systematic novel form of art based on “the abstraction of purely geometric forms” which he reduced to primary colors, black and white, and neutrals.
Van Doesburg was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 30 August 1883. He studied art at the Amsterdam Academy of Art from 1902 until 1906. In 1911 he founded the magazine De Stijl with fellow artist Piet Mondrian. The group’s main principle was to reduce art to its essentials of form and color. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form in geometric arrangements. The De Stijl group participated in exhibitions at the Galerie der Lebenden in Moscow and the Weimar Bauhaus.
In 1923, van Doesburg moved to Paris, where he founded the Dadaist journal Main d’oeuvre. He also worked with the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian on a book called De Stijl, which was published in German, French and English. Van Doesburg died in 1931 at the age of 47 years old.