Neoplasticism is one of the earliest varieties of abstract art. Created by 1917 by the Dutch painter P. Mondrian and other artists included in the association “Style”. According to its creators, neoplasticism is characterized by a desire for “universal harmony”, expressed in strictly balanced combinations of large rectangular shapes clearly separated by black perpendicular lines and painted in local colors of the main spectrum (with the addition of white and gray tones).
Neoplasticism claimed clarity, simplicity, and constructiveness of pure, unnatural geometrical forms. In substantiating his theory, Mondrian was guided by the idea of illusory nature of the contradictory nature of our world, its subjectivity. The artist’s task is to free life relations from immersion in natural forms, clean them from nature (“denature”) and give them a new formation. In an effort to free painting from Mondrian, he abandons sensual forms (figurative) in the name of aesthetic (abstract).
Mondrian is the author of geometric abstractions, “revealing the logic of beauty.” The pictorial means of neoplasticism are extremely concise: only combinations with perpendicular intersections of straight lines are allowed, the resulting planes are painted with the three main colors of the spectrum – red, blue, yellow. The structure of the picture is based on the opposite of the elements: color – not color (black, white, gray), vertical – horizontal, large surface (not colors) – small surface (colors), the unity of which, according to the author of the concept, symbolizes the balance of forces in harmony of the universe .
The formation of neoplasticism dates back to 1912-1917. Later, his ideas were developed in the magazine De Steyl (“Style”), organized by Mondrian in collaboration with Theo Van Dusburg, which existed from 1917 to 1928, and the eponymous art association. A series of articles outlining the basics of neoplasticism published in the magazine resulted in the final brochure Neo-Plasticism, published in 1920. Despite the rather limited artistic possibilities, Mondrian’s theory influenced the development of architecture, decorative arts, design, and industrial graphics.
Masters of Neoplasticism: Pete Mondrian, Theo Van Dusburg, Jean Albert Gorin, Ilya Bolotovsky.