“We speak of concrete & not of abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, a colour, a surface.” Theo Van Doesburg.
Partly in reaction to the Art Deco style, the founders of De Stijl preferred a more simplistic approach to art, envisioning nothing less than the ideal fusion of form and function. De Stijl artists applied themselves to many types of work other than the fine arts, such as industrial design, typography, literature & music among many others.
The style consisted of precisely rendered geometric forms such as straight lines, squares, rectangles and of primary colours.
Some important works remaining today include the Rietveld Schroder House (1924) in Utrecht, Holland &the Red Blue Chair (1923) both by Gerrit Rietveld, & the Gray Tree (1911) and Composition A (1920) both by Piet Mondrian.
Interestingly, although the De Stijl movement lasted only from 1917-1931 it continues to inspire artists today. Here is a very interesting piece inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Composition A, by the artist Yiannis Kranidiotis which breaks the painting down into areas of sound. Well worth looking at this one. Just press the image to view.