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Piet Mondrian

1872 - 1944 Amersfoort, Netherlands

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  • About the Artist
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Piet Mondrian, original name Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, painter who 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”). In his mature paintings, Mondrian used the simplest combinations of straight lines, right angles, primary colours, and black, white, and gray. The resulting works possess an extreme formal purity that embodies the artist’s spiritual belief in a harmonious cosmos.

Mondrian's art was highly utopian and was concerned with a search for universal values and aesthetics. He proclaimed in 1914: "Art is higher than reality and has no direct relation to reality. To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual. We find ourselves in the presence of an abstract art. Art should be above reality, otherwise it would have no value for man." His art, however, always remained rooted in nature.

Mondrian's work had an enormous influence on 20th century art, influencing not only the course of abstract painting and numerous major styles and art movements, but also fields outside the domain of painting, such as design, architecture and fashion. 

An oil painting by Piet Mondrian has sold at a New York auction for $50.6m (£32.1m) - a record for the artist's work. The 1929 piece titled Composition No III, with Red, Blue, Yellow and Black, features the geometric style for which the artist became renowned.

Works by Piet Mondrian

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