Artist Piet Mondrian, original name Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan (NL,1872—USA 1944) was an important leader in the development of modern abstract art and a major exponent of the Dutch abstract art movement known as De Stijl (“The Style”).Read more about the artist
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a man of boundless ambition. He made himself one of the greatest masters of modern art and resolutely pioneered the path towards abstraction.
In January 1912 he moved to Paris to explore Cubism. In June 1914 he returned and held an exhibition at the Walrecht gallery in The Hague; it showed just how far Mondrian had travelled from the Dutch art of his time in those two short years. He became a major source of inspiration for other Dutch artists, including Jan Sluijters, Jacoba van Heemskerck and countless younger painters.
Exactly 100 years after the show at the Walrecht gallery, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag presents this centenary exhibition as a homage to Mondrian. Its opening coincides almost to the day with the 70th anniversary of the artist’s death. In addition to work by Mondrian and his Dutch contemporaries, the show features works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger, on loan from a raft of top museums such as MoMA in New York and the Beyeler in Basle.
The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to compare the work of Mondrian and other Dutch artists with French Cubism. It includes work by the most important figures of the Parisian avant-garde of the day. The comparison reveals that Mondrian had already found his own, entirely individual style. For Picasso, Cubism was a way of playing games both with the public and with other artists; it quickly came to stand for innovation and adventure. Mondrian took it far more seriously, as a way of using colour and line to arrive at the essence of art and beauty.