"Art has to be forgotten. Beauty must be realized" -- Piet Mondrian
Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan* (1872-1944) was born in Amersfoort, The Netherlands
. He was artistically educated by his father Pieter, his uncle Frits, and at the Royal Art Academy
. From 1908-1910 he lived in Zeeland, where he started as a naturalistic
painter. In his work, you can see an ongoing tendency to abstraction
. Abstraction and consistency
became important themes in his life. In 1909, Mondriaan joined the Theosophical Society
When Mondriaan moved back to Amsterdam (1910), he got into contact with the symbolic artist Jan Toorop, and many pointillistic artists. Mondriaan started experimenting with pointilism and symbolism as well. After getting acquainted, in Amsterdam, with the work of the french cubists, he moved to Paris in 1911 where he met artists such as Picasso and Bracque and continued to incorporate more abstraction into his works.
Due to his father's disease, Mondriaan moved back to Holland, where he remained during World War I. During this time he met the painters Theo van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck, and he became an important member of a group of artists called "De Stijl" (The Style). From this moment, Mondriaan started painting pure geometric, abstract paintings. Only straight horizontal and vertical lines were used. Only primary colors, and white, grey and black were incorporated. This concept, originating from a search for absolute abstraction, gave rise to an orderly and balanced beauty.
In 1919, Mondriaan moved back to Paris, where he met Wassily Kandinsky. He stayed in Paris until 1938, and moved because of the upcoming war. He first moved to London, and then to New York where he stayed until his death. During his time in New York, he was surrounded by a group of young American artists, and he was inspired by the new jazz music. His last (unfinished) work would be Victory Boogie Woogie.
(*)Mondriaan is known as Mondrian outside of The Netherlands