Back to Members

Piet Mondrian
(1872 — 1944)

Piet Mondrian was born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands and began his artistic training at the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam between the years 1892 to 1894. The artist’s approach to painting during this time followed the popular Dutch Impressionist movement and his subjects largely focused on pastoral landscape images of his native country. In around 1908 the artist began to produce paintings which were not necessarily representational and featured an emphasis on primary colours. In 1909 the artist participated in his first exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


In 1911 Mondrian relocated to Paris, where the influence of movements such as Cubism had a great effect on the direction of his work. Though works produced during this time still featured representational elements, the artist increasingly focused on geometric shapes and distinct planes in his painting. Mondrian returned to the Netherlands in 1914 to visit family, during which time the outbreak of the First World War forced the artist to remain in his native country. He continued to explore artistic approaches, and aided in establishing the De Stijl Group with whom he published a journal which detailed his emerging artistic theory, named Neoplasticism, for the first time.


In 1919, upon his return to Paris, the artist first began producing paintings with distinct grid-based patterns in a primary colour scheme, a practice he refined to great acclaim throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1938 the artist relocated to London, England to escape advancing fascism on the Continent, and later moved to New York in 1940 where he would remain until his death in 1944.