De Stijl (or The Style) was an abstract art movement from the early 20th Century, led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Also known as Neoplasticism, this group of artists believed in pairing work down to essential elements, such as basic colours and lines. The cornerstone of the movement involved the publication of a journal with their namesake.
This was a sharp contrast to all the art from the Western world that had come before it – which was largely comprised of subjects and landscapes, very much in the way that many people use a camera today.
Der Stijl expanded this view of art beyond the canvas, and applied it to many more mediums such as industrial design, typography, literature and music.
While the iconic paintings of Mondrian live on, what are some of the larger aspects of this movement that might apply to today’s world?
We might be able to consider that nowadays art lives well beyond the canvas, and with computers we have a lot of flexibility in expressing ourselves across various mediums, if you look at for example being a member of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software.
One might be able to make the case that a new art movement does not have to focus on one area but is a smorgasbord of a concept expanded across these different forms.
Another lesson from Der Stijl could be in not feeling blocked in by your predecessors. They were able to find a creative outlet in doing almost everything that the famous Dutch artists before them were not doing, and we are in their debt for having the courage to act in this way.
Read more about Der Stijl
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