PIET MONDRIAN 1872-1944
Pieter Cornelis Mondrian, born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, in 1872, was introduced to painting when he was young. During 1880s, his uncle taught him the open-air painting, which was an innovative practice for this time. When he was 20, he integrated the State Academy of Fine Arts of Amsterdam.
Early 1900s, the artist had an artistic style close to symbolism. In 1907, Mondrian realized Red Cloud, which was an essential and significant artwork of his emerging career. The canvas pictured an extremely simplified marine landscape whose colors had a symbolic value. Next year, the artist met Jan Toorop, who was main painter of Holland symbolism.
As Mondrian was always looking for a more spiritual painting, in 1909, he entered Theosophical Society, which put forward the idea of a cosmic order of the world, beyond appearances and the visible.
In 1911, Mondrian discovered Braque's cubist artworks in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He felt something about it so he decided to take the path of cubism. Same year, the painter settled in Paris. He wanted to develop the analytic cubism so he became one of the leader and pioneer of abstract art by creating a new picture language, between 1913 and 1914.
In 1915, he came back to his home country and was aimed to push the cubism boundaries in order to run to a purer abstraction. During this year, he did not finish any paintings, even if he tried many times, except his canvas Composition 10.
When he came back to Paris in 1919, Mondrian published many writings in the Holland journal De Stijl, whose his essay called Natural reality and abstract reality in which he explained the material nature must be set aside in favor of its essence.He wanted to express himself only with straight lines and clearly defined primary colors.
Then, from 1940, he only worked with the red, yellow and blue colors, and geometrically structured his artworks. According to his theosophical believes, Mondrian said angle right had an universal meaning.
When the World War II flared, Mondrian settled first in London, United Kingdom, and then moved to New York City, United States, in 1940. Once he was on American soil, the painter was quickly integrated to the artistic world. As he enjoyed jazz, he enthusiastically adopted the boogie-woogie and found the inspiration from it to realize several paintings such as Broadway Boogie-Woogie or New York City. He made friends with Max Ernst, he was requested for various exhibitions juries, and also integrated the "American Abstract Artists" group.
Piet Mondrian died in February 1944, in New York City, United States.