Culture / Art Republik

Exhibitions in The Hague, Netherlands: Gemeente Museum Den Haag celebrates 100 years of the De Stijl movement in 2017

In 2017, the Netherlands will celebrate the centenary of the Dutch art and design movement De Stijl with a series of events including three major exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague that will kick off in February.

Jan 01, 2017 | By AFP Relaxnews

Known for its iconic red, yellow and blue colour palette made famous by the artist Piet Mondrian, the De Stijl movement began in the Netherlands in 1917.

In the same year, painter, poet and critic Theo van Doesburg launched the magazine De Stijl (“The style”) to provide a platform for avant-garde artists, designers and architects. The publication attracted contributors including Gerrit Rietveld, Bart van der Leck and Vilmos Huszár.

De Stijl, which is also referred to as neo-plasticism, aimed at pure abstraction by reducing visual compositions to the bare essentials: straight lines and primary colors. Piet Mondrian’s abstract paintings in primary colours with black lines on a white background quickly became famous and helped orient the movement.

De Stijl artists aimed to achieve a better and more modern society, and their aesthetic was applied across design, fashion, architecture and advertising. Examples include Gerrit Rietveld’s Red and Blue chair, kitchens by Piet Zwart for Bruynzeel, Jan Wils’ Papaverhof housing complex and Jan Duiker’s Nirwana apartment block in The Hague.

For the De Stijl centenary, the Netherlands is launching a year-long program of events under the title “Mondrian to Dutch Design: 100 Years of De Stijl.”

Gemeente Museum Den Haag will be at the center of the festivities, with plans to present its entire Mondrian collection — more than 300 works in all — in a single retrospective.

On February 11, 2017, the museum will present the first of its three exhibitions timed to mark the De Stijl centenary. “Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck: Inventing a New Art” will look at the genesis of De Stijl’s iconic palette through the friendship and mutual influence of two of the movement’s foremost painters.

Running through May 21, that exhibition will be followed by “The Discovery of Mondrian,” a major retrospective running from June 3 to September 24, 2017. The show of more than 300 works will trace the early history of modern art and the artist’s life in Amsterdam, Paris, London and New York.

A concurrent exhibition beginning June 10, 2017 will examine De Stijl’s influence on design. “The Architecture and Interiors of De Stijl” will show how De Stijl artists designed the modern city, street and home, shedding new light on a movement typically seen as austere. The exhibition runs through September 17.

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