Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter. He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and is best known for his non-representational form termed Neo-Plasticism.
De Stijl, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in1917 in Leiden. Proponents of De Stijl advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and color; they simplified visual compositions to vertical and horizontal, using only black, white and primary colors.
Mondrian began his career firmly rooted in the representational form, favoring naturalistic and impressionistic landscapes. As it moved into non-representational forms, his style was influenced by Picasso and Braque. It was through this form that he became an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement.Mondrian, radically simplified the elements of his paintings to reflect what he saw as the spiritual order underlying the visible world, creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. In his best-known paintings from the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes to lines and rectangles and his palette to fundamental basics pushing past references to the outside world toward pure abstraction.
A theorist and writer, Mondrian believed that art reflected the underlying spirituality of nature. He simplified the subjects of his paintings down to the most basic elements, in order to reveal the essence of the mystical energy in the balance of forces that governed nature and the universe.
Mondrian chose to distill his representations of the world to their basic vertical and horizontal elements, which represented the two essential opposing forces: the positive and the negative, the dynamic and the static, the masculine and the feminine. The dynamic balance of his compositions reflects what he saw as the universal balance of these forces.
By using basic forms and colors, Mondrian believed that his vision of modern art would transcend divisions in culture and become a new common language based on the pure primary colors, a flatness of forms, and dynamic tension in his canvases.
Mondrian's book on Neo-Plasticism became one of the key documents of abstract art. In it, he detailed his vision of artistic expression in which "plastic" simply referred to the action of forms and colors on the surface of the canvas as a new method for representing modern reality.
Piet Mondrian died of pneumonia on February 1, 1944, and was interred in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.