This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!
If you're not sure how to pronounce "De Stijl" you're not alone. It's Dutch, but I wasn't entirely sure I had it right either, so I checked. Hard to explain, but more or less like "da style", which is in fact what it means - "the style". De Stijl was a Dutch artistic movement and usually refers to that body of work from 1917 through 1931, characterized by pure abstraction, and a reduction to the essentials of form and color. So reduced, in fact, that it featured almost exclusively vertical and horizontal lines and black, white, and primary colors only. Kind of like this:
The artist that made De Stijl famous was none other than Piet Mondrian, an artist we featured here on Homeschool Coffee Break when we did Artist Study August for the Virtual Fridge one year. The founder was an Dutch painter, designer, and critic Theo van Doesburg; and other other members of the group were painters Bart van der Leck and Vilmos Huszar, and architects J.J.P. Oud and Gerrit Rietveld. The group's work and philosophy is also known as neoplasticism or 'new plastic art'.
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) lived and worked in Netherlands, and in Paris for some years both before and after World War I. Later he moved to London and then to New York City. He started out painting landscapes and still life, but in 1911, he was influenced by cubism in works by Picasso and Braque, and his own style changed to become much more abstract. Mondrian took the notion abstract art to a extremely simple form, refined eventually to grids of lines and primary colors. He called his style 'Neo-Plasticism' and along with the De Stijl group of like-minded artists, applied the ideas to architecture and industrial design as well as painting and sculpture. Mondrian thought of the vertical lines representing the direction and energy of the sun's rays, and the horizontal lines representing the earth's movement around the sun. Primary colors represented the sun's energy (yellow), infinite space (blue), with red materializing when blue and yellow met.
I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true. ~Piet Mondrian
|Composition V by Piet Mondrian, 1927.|
Baltimore Museum of Art
|Kennady staring at Composition V at BoMA|
See more about our field trip here: Baltimore Museum of Art
Mondrian's work has become iconic and easily recognizable, even if you're not familiar with his name. His simple, yet visually striking designs have been influential in all kinds of modern art and graphic design. Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow is probably the best known example. You can view a large collection of his art at Olga's Gallery and since he's a favorite artist of Kennady's, I have examples of his art and projects inspired by it on my Piet Mondrian Pinterest board.
I mentioned our Artist Study August feature on Mondrian, and here's a little recap of it. You can read the entire post here: Virtual Refrigerator - Piet Mondrian
Kennady did a simple project inspired by Mondrian's style - on a large piece of cardboard (we used an opened out cereal box), draw vertical and horizontal lines using a straight-edge, then glue strips of corrugated cardboard onto the pattern. Cover the cardboard by gluing heavy duty aluminum foil onto it, smoothing it carefully with a felt square or washcloth so that the cardboard grids are in relief. Be careful not to tear the foil as you press against the cardboard strips! Color the grid lines with a black permanent marker.
Then use red, blue, and yellow permanent markers to color in just a few of the squares. Sharpie works best! Let each color 'set' for a few minutes before doing the next, so that you don't get it on your hands or smudge it.
|Composition in Foil and Marker by KAT, August 2015|
There's a full lesson based on Piet Mondrian's Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow in the Everyday Easels section of SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool. Join in to see what others are sharing related to this week's letter!
©2006-2017 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/