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Twentieth century art is seen by many as a series of movements evolving from either an opposition to or an extension of concepts of previous movements

. While some movements quickly pass the newness stage in their lifespans, their philosophies continue to live on, even though greater attention may be given to even newer movements. In the case of De Stijl and Neo-Plasticism, the theoretical end of this ―life span‖ came with the death of one of its founders, Theo Van Doesburg. Here we explore the fascinating art movement and its influences on contemporary culture. De Stijl, Dutch for ―The Style‖, also known as Neo-plasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917 and staked its place in the history of art and design at nearly the same time as its close counterparts Suprematism and Constructivism. They were isolated from the international art world, particularly from Paris. In response, Van Doesburg set up a new art movement to ensure that Dutch art continued to progress. Van Doesburg had a flamboyant personality and was adept at gaining support. A number of radical artists gravitated towards him. The group‘s principal members were the painters Doesburg and Piet Mondrian with a number of others artists like Bart van der Leck and the architects Gerrit Rietveld and J.J.P. Oud contributing shortly after the movement‘s birth. The artistic philosophy that formed a basis for the group‘s work is known as Neo-plasticism — the new plastic art. Holland was neutral during the war, which meant that Dutch artists could not leave the country after 1914. De Stijl was the brainchild of the Dutch painter, designer, writer, and critic Theo van Doesburg. While serving in the army, he encountered Mondrian's paintings, in which he saw his ideal. He then met him at an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and, after many discussions, they formed the De Stijl art group. At the same time they also founded the De Stijl journal, edited by Van Doesburg, to which Mondrian contributed numerous articles. Although its circulation rarely exceeded 300 copies per issue, its readership was influential within artistic circles and widespread. Proponents of De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white. De Stijl was built on the fundamental principle of the geometry of the straight line, the square, and the rectangle, combined with a strong asymmetricality; the predominant use of pure primary colors with black and white; and the relationship between positive and negative elements in an arrangement of non-objective forms and disections.

From Schoenmaekers‘s work. The members decided that primary colours represented formal purity. plus black and white. The group were also influenced by a variety of other elements. Mondrian defined the new aesthetic: This new plastic idea will ignore the particulars of appearance.J. the group developed an artistic philosophy known as Neo-Plasticism – the new plastic art (Nieuwe Beelding). it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour. All signed the De Stijl manifesto which committed them to the theory of NeoPlasticism. De Stijl expressed a utopian ideal of spiritual order by using pure geometric form. They were published in the journal De Stijl. so De Stijl used colour extensively. The term was coined by Mondrian in 1917 and articulated in twelve articles called NeoPlasticism in Painting. In one of the essays. meaning that it‘s more sympathetic than most Modernist design. that is to say. including Picasso and Braque's Cubism. that is to say. natural form and colour. Tatlin's Constructivism and Malevich's Suprematism. They only used straight lines and rectangular forms. theoretical works such as The New Image of the World (1915) and Principles of Plastic Mathematics (1916) by M. Instead. only squares and rectangles. Schoenmaekers devised a mystical philosophy about ideal geometric form. De Stijl was not trying to imitate nature.H.H. Geometric forms never change and exist beyond physical reality in what Plato called the ‗world of ideas‘.J. only straight and horizontal or vertical line. it tried to achieve pure abstraction by reducing everything down to its essential form. The colour palette was reduced to primary colours. They avoided symmetry and achieved aesthetic balance by the use of opposition. In 1920. as developed by Mondrian.Where did the theory come from? De Stijl was inspired by a school of thought known as Theosophy. An eccentric mathematician called M. Schoenmaekers. . Schoenmaekers published The New Image of the World (1915) and Principles of Plastic Mathematics (1916). Schoenmaekers believed in the beauty of pure geometry. This was a NeoPlatonic philosophy – it was influenced by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato. De Stijl can be interpreted as a Modernist movement because it tried to achieve ultimate simplicity and abstraction. On the contrary. [This art allows] only primary colours and non-colours. Mondrian published a book entitled Le Neo-Plasticisme. ‗Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art‘. and of course the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. These publications had a great influence on members of De Stijl. in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour.

The various rooms are separated from each other by loose sliding walls. Rietveld designed the whole building and all the furniture and fittings. It was not until Minimalism ushered in a renewed enthusiasm for geometric abstraction in the 1960s that their works began to receive serious attention. Rietveld was inspired by Japanese design and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. This seems more humane and sympathetic than the austere Modernism of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus. architecture and visual art later in the 20th century. product design as reinterpreted through the Bauhaus school. The sliding partitions are derived from Japanese interiors. The emphasis on horizontals and verticals and the restricted colour scheme give a visual unity to the interior and exterior. through Rietveld‘s three-dimensional furniture. Artists working in the template of Neo-Plasticism and De Stijl had just begun to experience success in the early 1940s when the emergence of Abstract Expressionism swept aside the public recognition of those achievements. This uses the same principle of reducing objects down to their underlying geometry in order to discover their essential form. These guidelines were very limiting yet have led to an artistic language that has stood strong and influenced many throughout the ages as in fashion and typography design. ceramic and interior installations designed to reflect the principles of Neo-plasticism there are very few architectural structures. Allowing the user to reconfigure the space was unusual for Modernism. You can see that De Stijl has been extrapolated from Mondrian‘s two-dimensional images. to an all-encompassing environment. in which he writes . Although there are many examples of murals. This exciting use of space was described in Van Doesburg‘s essay ‗Sixteen Points of a Plastic Architecture‘ (1924). The Schroder House is the only shining example remain to this day. The interior was designed to be a flexible space. It was an incredibly radical house built in a conventional suburban area of Utrecht. and the idea of free-flowing space comes from Frank Lloyd Wright‘s work. The Schroder House designed by Gerrit Rietveld in the Netherlands is one of the very few examples of Neo-plastic architecture. It was usually very prescriptive and even tyrannical. which enabled the owner to change the layout.These strict guidelines lead to works heavily weighted on their compositional structure – works whose subjects were produced as ―pure‖ and nonrepresentational abstraction and are not to be mistaken with the later Abstract Expressionist movement.

its firmness and sense of belonging accentuated by its contrast with the red circle that has less of a mooring. the red circle seems to move in the opposite direction. • Suíço. making an important contribution to the development of non-objective art in the United States. he produced paintings. The result is a sense of balance without symmetry that was also an important ingrediant of De Stijl. Yet. seem to have a force holding it in a state of suspension. the vertical black and yellow lines anchor it to the picture plane. Created in 1934. Like Mondrian.The new architecture is anti-cubic. his careful consideration of the relationship of the forms and colors within the space evokes the teachings of Hofmann.) centrifugally from the core. While the three-sided blue rectangle is floating freely. as the yellow line to its left and the blue one below it. balcony. and collages that paved the way for the development of American Minimalism during the 1960s and 70s. 2. Burgoyne Diller was recognized as the first American painter to embrace the tenets of Neo-Plasticism. Fritz Glarner: • Trabalhava com tondos (pinturas circulares). decidiu utilizar também tons de cinza. 1940s. even the circle seems to have its own gravitational pull. dando uma certa impressão espacial (não presente nas obras do Mondrian). At the same time. volumes etc. Indeed. Early Geometric reveals Burgoyne Diller‘s prescient absorption of the ideas of Mondrian. Through his offcenter placement of shapes. While the open-sided blue rectangle seems to slide our eye toward the left edge of the picture. Diller produced an assymetrical balance. drawings. • Além disso. that is to say. Rather it throws the functional space cells (as well as overhanging planes. utilizando linhas diagonais. that Diller would have such an advanced awareness of the types of principles explored by Mondrian is . foi bastante influenciado por suas teorias neoplásticas. Working in a hard-edged geometric style. • Entrando em contato com Mondrian em NY. transformando retângulos em trapézios e dando uma impressão de ritmo irregular.’ 1. Diller limited his work to primary colors and horizontals and verticals. • Modificou a severidade do trabalho de Mondrian. it does not try to freeze the different functional space-cells in one closed cube.

Pierre Clerk is still producing work (and large powerful work at that) to this day. Born in St. Although black lines and shapes are often present in his work. However. As with Bolotowsky. but disregards these rules just enough to define his work as a unique addition. unlike the earlier adapters of the tenets of Neo-plasticism Bolotowsky‘s visual language was fueled by the now popular Suprematist. he immigrated to America in 1932 and attended the National Academy of Design.amazing. Absent from his work are compositions adhering to strict primary color usage. a group of artists who. Ilya Bolotowsky constantly searched for order through his visual expressions. Petersburg. Subsequently. After all. One may suspect by looking closely at Bolotowsky‘s late work that clear. rarely are they horizontal or vertical. an idea that is only known to Clerk and only slightly alluded to in a brief title. 3. given that the Dutch painter would only begin to have an impact on the American art scene after he immigrated to New York in 1940. Constructivist. Cubist. One can see an obvious tie to the fundamental rules of Neo-plasticism and De Stijl in Pierre Clerk‘s work – however they beg to call these rules into question. Highly influenced by Piet Mondrian. Although abstract in nature the work often represents a theme. . a place. Lucky for collectors. six years after Diller created this image. It was here that he credits his magnetic draw to Mondrian‘s work. unhappy with academy and museum structures soon began to mount their own exhibitions. 5. Clerk often produces work that is not just pure abstraction. and Abstract Expressionist art movements. he not only calls them into question. precise control of his images was of utmost importance. He quickly associated himself with ―The Ten Whitney Dissenters‖. He did however emphasized the role of intuition over formula in determining his compositions and in many of his interviews states that the pieces are just as much an abstract composition as they are what the viewer saw in them. Russia. one man‘s Neoplastic composition in yellow and blue was another man‘s reduced aerial depiction of a farmer‘s pasture dissected by roads and property lines! 4.

H. Many of his paintings and sculptures are only known through photographs that appeared in De Stijl. Presently. In his paintings the reductionist influences of De Stijl and the later Minimalism movement of the mid-20th century cannot go unnoticed. Works that are lost include the Dancing mechanical doll.J. e nós estaríamos vivendo sucessivas encarnações rumo à perfeição. pela teoria da evolução de Darwin) ao aplicar o conceito de evolução a uma escala cósmica – todo o universo estaria evoluindo. or from photographs taken by the artist himself. uma busca pela ordem. Seus ideais primários eram promover uma síntese místicoracional. alegava ter resolvido o conflito entre espiritualidade e ciência (conflito evidenciado. A teosofia exerceu grande influência no trabalho do matemático M. began his career with the production of symbolic works in which he would combine this geometric abstraction with an underlining tie to race and class stereotypes in American society. He also co-founded the De Stijl magazine and designed the cover for the first issue. who is biracial. Hudson has withdrawn from his original approach to these either tongue-in-cheek representations or direct reinterpretations from American census surveys and allowed his work to follow a more abstract nature. especialmente no tratado "Matemática Expressiva". o De Stijl era visto por seus integrantes como mais do que um estilo artístico. pela harmonia perfeita existente que poderia . Como resultado. O movimento teosófico. a device that could adopt several different postures and was used during Dada conferences in the early 1920s. Schoenmaekers. Hudson. sendo uma forma de filosofia e religião. both central figures in establishing the De Stijl movement with Huszár in 1917. The whereabouts of many of Huszár's works are unknown. fundado por Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891). principalmente. yellow and orange represented Asian and Latin races. His black and white color frequently represented Black and Caucasian races. Huszár met other influential artists including Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg.Bryce Hudson is among a small set of contemporary artists presently working to decipher the boundaries of geometric abstraction as they relate to past art movements and the present day. 6. que influenciou fortemente a concepção artística de Piet Mondrian na fase inicial do Neo-Plasticismo. não só as espécies. possuindo um caráter quase messiânico.

de lembranças individuais e pré-natais. neutras. A noção de unidade é fundamental – as relações equilibradas devem ser a mais pura representação do caráter universal da ordem. Este dualismo conteúdo-forma é apenas um entre os vários dualismos tratados por Mondrian em seus escritos. Esta forma de expressão artística é fruto da intuição pura. mas sim do ritmo dinâmico (…) das relações mútuas das formas. religiosa ou surrealista. por sua própria característica. "a beleza universal não surge do caráter particular da forma. provocando a emoção de beleza que.ser acessível ao homem (e à sociedade) desde que este se subordinasse a ela. pois eles provocam o desejo de criação. seja clássica. todavia. além de resolver o . do pensamento puro. é "cósmica" e "universal"." Rejeitando a simetria. características que também estão presentes na mente (se focalizarmos nela. que se baseia em nossa concepção do sentimento. romântica. que por si só não provocam qualquer reação individual –as linhas retas e cores primárias – nos leva a duas outras preocupações essenciais dos teóricos do De Stijl: a ênfase estrutural e a necessidade vital do equilíbrio assimétrico. balanceando suas composições. a tentativa de alcançar a "beleza universal" citada por Mondrian. um equilíbrio dinâmico que tocasse a "beleza universal". da harmonia e da unidade. portanto. o Neo-Plasticismo tinha como missão reconciliar o dualismo matéria-espírito.B. A redução a formas elementares. Pelo equilíbrio assimétrico. seremos capazes de ver a unidade natural). mas que é inerente à vida e subjacente à realidade visível. não é. forma encontrada para atingir a "expressão universal". Para Mondrian. fruto do inconsciente. os membros do De Stijl procuravam então. o "mais puro de todos os membros" (na opinião de H. o desejo de tornar concreto (através da obra de arte) aquilo que só podemos sentir de forma vaga e imprecisa. "Uma expressão individual não se torna uma expressão universal por meio da representação figurativa." A arte não-figurativa. embora tanto Mondrian quanto Van Doesburg admitam que os estímulos do mundo exterior são indispensáveis. Este exercício quase matemático transforma a tela em um plano e transforma o dualismo conteúdo-forma em uma unidade inseparável. Chipp). Trata-se. de uma missão de caráter ético-espiritual. Para o pintor holandês. entende-se o comportamento dos artistas em atribuir valores semelhantes a combinações de linhas e cores diferentes. do Id Freudiano. através da combinação de linhas e ângulos retos.

não renuncia ao elemento humano. a rejeição da ênfase no individualismo (o Neo-Plasticismo seria. como forma principal de expressão pela pintura. a primeira expressão artística puramente plástica porque não aceitava a predominância da consciência individual)." A composição. O que ocorre é a redução drástica dessa influência individual. o De Stijl estaria cumprindo o papel de resolver o questionamento do homem moderno e ilustrar o desenvolvimento da consciência do homem do individual para o universal. aumentando significativamente o caráter universal da obra. permitindo ao artista expressar sua subjetividade enquanto for necessário. Such a hypothesis suggests that we reconsider the screen as a kind of picture plane: with this in mind. .dualismo entre individual e coletivo. Nas palavras de Van Doesburg: "Aquilo que se expressa positivamente na plasticidade moderna – uma proporção equilibrada do peculiar e da generalidade – manifesta-se mais ou menos também na vida do homem moderno e constitui a causa original da reconstrução social de que somos testemunhas. resultado de uma visão artística onde a expressão pela arte deve refletir a consciência temporal do homem e vice-versa. Para Van Doesburg e Mondrian. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The simplicity that characterizes de Stijl thinking—and the order that can be traced in Dutch painting as far back as the seventeenth century—suggest conceptually provocative yet surprisingly practical methods for organizing space and for achieving visually engaging solutions in screen-based media. and what role design plays in the mix. de certa forma. what a computer is. dando certa liberdade de escolha quanto à disposição dos elementos e do ritmo. portanto. this essay suggests that to challenge the picture plane is to radically adjust our thinking about what a screen is.