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Deconstructing Mondrian: The Story Behind an Iconic Design

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Kunstmuseum Den Haag, formerly the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, possesses the largest collection of Piet Mondrian paintings in the world, devoting a wing of the museum to Mondrian and the De Stijl movement. This 2017 Wall Street Journal video introduces Mondrian’s motivations through a Kunstmuseum exhibition that traces his journey from traditional Dutch landscapes to 20th century abstract art’s iconic grid paintings.

traditional mondrian landscape
“Mondrian believed that abstraction through reduction,” I Am Amsterdam explains, “both in life and art, eliminated unnecessary complication and brought out what was true and essential.” From the Kunstmuseum Den Haag:

While many people imagine that De Stijl was cold and humourless, as if its art was made with a ruler on a drawing board, the exhibits in the special wing show that the opposite is true. Using vivid primary colours (red, yellow and blue), members of the movement produced vibrant works of art that are unconstrained and joyful, reflecting a vision of the future that was optimistic in the extreme.

deconstructing mondrian
See more of Mondrian’s work at the Guggenheim and at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

Watch this next: How Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, and Gordon Matta-Clark captured places & spaces through art.

Plus, a few other related videos:
• Elements of Art and Design for BBC Scotland
• Maarten Koopman animates six famous paintings
• Can you solve the Mondrian squares riddle?

Bonus: OK Go’s Three Primary Colors

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