Piet Mondrian

Biography

  • Born March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, Netherlands
  • Studied at the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam
  • Known for "Neoplasticism": A white background with a series of vertical and horizontal black lines, as well as red, blue, and yellow squares
  • Lived in Paris, London, and New York City as a painter.
  • Mondrian's preferred medium was oil paint on canvas
  • Died of pneumonia on February 1, 1944 in New York City, New York

Influences

  • Cubism
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Georges Braque
  • Bart van der Leck
  • Theo van Doesburg
  • Piet Mondrian was also heavily influenced by his own philosophical and spiritual journey

Context of Mondrian's Art

Historical and Political Contexts:

  • World War I broke out while Mondrian was in The Netherlands, visiting from France.  The beginning of WWI forced him to stay in the Netherlands.  It was during this time that he met van der Leck and van Doesburg.  
  • Following WWI, he returned to Paris to paint.  Post-war Paris offered a great deal of artistic and intellectual freedom, and Mondrian perfected his style here during this time.
  • In 1938, Mondrian fled the approaching fascist regimes for London.  In 1940, he fled Europe for New York, where he would spend the last few years of his life.

Sociological Context:

  • Mondrian believed that everything was part of a complex, and every complex a part of a whole.  
  • His work  was directly influenced by his own ideologies and spiritual journeys.  

Mondrian Art for Children

The art of Piet Mondrian lends itself very well to children's art lessons.

One project for a young child to do would be to fill in a pre-made Mondrian square.  The adult would draw straight lines in a grid pattern for the child, and provide paint and paintbrushes.

Another possible project would be a Mondrian-esque mosaic.  The adult would cut squares and rectangles of colored paper, and the child could glue them on a white background.

There is also a book featuring Mondrian art styles.

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