Composition II, 1920 by Piet Mondrian


Composition II, 1920


Piet Mondrian

Ref GM2824
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 27" x 30" (68 x 76 cm)
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An early example of Mondrian’s pure geometric abstraction, Composition II dates from his involvement with the De Stijl group. The strict use of horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours with black and white is characteristic of De Stijl. De Stijl proposed ultimate simplicity and abstraction. It was in fact an ideal art in which the basic elements of painting – colour and line form – were used only in their purest, most fundamental state: only primary colours and non-colours, only straight and horizontal or vertical lines. The assorted blocks of colour and lines of differing width create rhythms that ebb and flow across the surface of the caves, echoing the varied rhythm of modern life. Typically De Stijl compositions were not symmetrical but could scarcely be purer in their elements. Mondrian felt that this art reflected a greater, universal truth beyond everyday appearance. Mondrian’s non-figurative paintings convey what he described as a ‘dynamic equilibrium’, which he hoped would work on the individual spirit and have wider social implications. Mondrian sought to establish a universal art form, stripped of all naturalism and other inessentials, in order to attain the universal truths propounded by the Theosophical movement. The rules of De Stijl were designed to produce pure, uncompromising, heavily structured abstraction, in accordance with Mondrian’s view that vertical and horizontal patterns were inherently harmonious.