Born: 07 March 1872; Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: 01 February 1944; New York , United States
Active Years: 1892 - 1944
Art Movement: De Stijl (Neoplasticism)
School or Group: Degenerate art
Genre: abstract painting
An influential non-representational painter, Piet Mondrian’s art evolved over his lifetime into his own unique style, which he coined “neo-plasticism.” This art was not based on outside artistic influences or on typical techniques, but was instead Mondrian’s interpretation of his deeply felt philosophical beliefs. He subscribed to two sets of philosophical beliefs; theosophy, a religious mysticism which sought to help humanity achieve perfection, and anthroposophy, which held that the spiritual world was directly accessible through the development of the inner self. His works were thus aimed at helping humanity through aesthetic beauty and breaking from a representational form of painting. He published his explanation of neo-plasticism in his art publication De Stijl (The Style) in 1917 and 1918.
Although his early work was representational, he slowly developed his artistic philosophy, his works slowly devolving first into cubism, then to pure abstraction and non-representation. After WWI, he flourished in the post-war atmosphere of Paris, which allowed him pure creative freedom. Upon the outbreak of WWII, and the approach of fascism, he moved to Manhattan, NY, where he spent the rest of his life. It was in his Manhattan studio where he felt most creative, and in which he created his great masterpieces.