Mondriaan: From Realism to Abstraction

2023-11-21 15:13

Mondriaan was born in Holland in 1872. His father was a puritan and a primary school principal who was keen on fine arts, and his uncle was a painter of The Hague School, which made mondriaan come into contact with fine arts early. Religion is the key for mondriaan to inspire and change his style.

In 1892, mondriaan entered the National Academy of Art in Amsterdam. Like the Dutch gold artists in the 17th century, he focused on realistic landscape painting. In the dazzling nature, mondriaan is particularly fond of trees, and trees of various colors and postures have been painted all over by him, so that the changes of his painting style can be clearly reflected in the paintings of different eras.

Before going to Paris, mondriaan met Van Gogh's works. Impressionism exploded on his artistic path like thunder, and with the influence of Fauvism, Mangrove was born in 1908. Rough lines and highly saturated brush strokes present magical light above reality.

Mondriaan, who came to Paris in 1911, saw Picasso and Braque's early cubist works, which added a new style to his paintings. The Grey Tree in Paris had a certain cubist style. Very few colors, the shape of the tree is abstracted into lines and color surfaces, and the detailed features of the tree have all been hidden. From mangrove to ash tree, although the expression is more abstract, in essence, mondriaan at this time has not been divorced from the appearance of things.

During World War I, mondriaan stayed in his hometown of Holland and met like-minded Dusberg. Together, they founded a magazine called Style and gathered a group of Dutch artists and designers to launch a new art movement.


De stijl in the Netherlands pursues pure abstraction, with plane, straight line and rectangle as the main elements. de stijl in the Netherlands, represented by mondriaan, uses these seemingly simple squares to build order in his paintings, and injects rhythm and melody behind the order, conveying the pursuit of order and peace with neutral colors.

Sometimes, mondriaan and Dusberg gradually disagree about the definition of de stijl. Mondriaan thinks that they can only express their opinions with horizontal and vertical lines, while Dusberg thinks that diagonal lines can be added, and the dispute of diagonal lines makes them go their separate ways.

When World War II broke out in 1938, mondriaan's mood was also greatly disturbed. He used more black lines, which often looked very heavy against the regular color blocks. Melancholy was his main theme during this period.

In 1940, mondriaan moved to New York, far away from the war. new york's modernity and prosperity inspired its last change in style. Mondriaan's works at this stage are brighter and more abstract than before, reflecting the modernity of new york city, and the colors and lines show brisk rhythm.

Broadway Jazz is the masterpiece of this period. It is still a straight line, but it is not a cold and serious black boundary, but mainly bright yellow, with lively and jumping color blocks such as red, yellow and blue. They divide and control the picture, creating rhythm change and frequency vibration.

In 1944, mondriaan died of lung cancer, leaving an unfinished Dance of Victory. There are two explanations for this work. In the first understanding, you can think of it as music. The big color block is a long note, the small color block is a short note, and different colors represent different notes. Combining these different color blocks together becomes a song. The second kind of understanding is related to "people". mondriaan experienced two world wars in his life. For his generation, the world is old and welcoming the new every day. mondriaan longs for stability and hopes that a new order can be established in this world one day. This order is not one country unifying the world, but an order of peaceful coexistence and positive happiness.

Mondriaan pursued art and truth in the gap between war and peace all his life. He loved jazz and dancing all his life. He loved new york, Paris and all the beautiful things in life, but he had to face a bad and chaotic world. He used geometric lines to form "the beauty of form", created order, and brought the rhythm and rhythm of music to painting.