what is mondrian art
Piet Mondrian Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue © 2007 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International, Warrenton, VA
When Mondrian made his paintings, he would always mix his own colours, never using the paint directly out of a tube. He often used primary colours – red yellow and blue – as in this painting.
In 1911, Mondrian moved to Paris and changed his name, dropping an ‘a’ from Mondriaan, to emphasize his departure from the Netherlands, and his integration within the Parisian avant-garde.   While in Paris, the influence of the Cubist style of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque appeared almost immediately in Mondrian’s work. Paintings such as The Sea (1912) and his various studies of trees from that year still contain a measure of representation, but, increasingly, they are dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes. While Mondrian was eager to absorb the Cubist influence into his work, it seems clear that he saw Cubism as a “port of call” on his artistic journey, rather than as a destination.
Unlike the Cubists, Mondrian still attempted to reconcile his painting with his spiritual pursuits, and in 1913 he began to fuse his art and his theosophical studies into a theory that signaled his final break from representational painting. While Mondrian was visiting the Netherlands in 1914, World War I began, forcing him to remain there for the duration of the conflict. During this period, he stayed at the Laren artists’ colony, where he met Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg, who were both undergoing their own personal journeys toward abstraction. Van der Leck’s use of only primary colors in his art greatly influenced Mondrian. After a meeting with Van der Leck in 1916, Mondrian wrote, “My technique which was more or less Cubist, and therefore more or less pictorial, came under the influence of his precise method.”  With Van Doesburg, Mondrian founded De Stijl (The Style), a journal of the De Stijl Group, in which he first published essays defining his theory, which he called neoplasticism.
The first decade of the 20th century, Piet Mondrian began to make a transition in the his style. His works start moving towards a pointillist and cubist style, as well as other abstract mediums that he engaged in at this early stage of his career. During that time, Dutch artists were increasingly aware of the radical works of Paul Cezanne and of the Cubist painters. Active in avant-garde circles, Mondrian was very influenced by the new art movement happening in Paris. In 1911 he saw for the first time the early Cubist works of Pablo Picasso. He was profoundly impressed. Almost immediately he began to adapt the concept of Cubism to his own use, as evidenced in two versions of Still Life with Gingerpot, done during the winter months of 1911-12. In the first version, the objects are rendered as recognizable forms from everyday life; in the second, he transformed the same objects into compositional structures, taking his drive toward abstraction further than he ever had before.
In the summer of 1914 Mondrian returned to the Netherlands to visit his father, who was seriously ill, and the outbreak of World War I prevented him from returning to Paris. During this period, when he was at home and in Holland, he decided to work on an abstract art form which later on was classified as neoplastic style. The work which he produced during this period was depicted by lighter colors, simplified color selection, and forms that were balanced in their compositions. He also developed work which delved in to the spiritual realm, and created more of a connection with religion, and his faith, as opposed to the prior works which were not focused on this point.
Today, Piet Mondrian’s legacy lives on in the fashions of Yves Saint Laurent, and the L’Oreal make-up line.
Mondrian was born in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, the second of his parents’ children. He was descended from Christian Dirkzoon Monderyan who lived in The Hague as early as 1670. The family moved to Winterswijk when his father, Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan, was appointed head teacher at a local primary school. Mondrian was introduced to art from an early age. His father was a qualified drawing teacher, and, with his uncle, Fritz Mondriaan (a pupil of Willem Maris of the Hague School of artists), the younger Piet often painted and drew along the river Gein.
Piet Mondrian succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 71. His last work, Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44), remained unfinished at his death.
Born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, the artist was the second child of Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, Sr., who was an amateur draftsman and headmaster of a Calvinist primary school. Piet Mondrian’s uncle, Frits, belonged to the Hague school of landscape painters. Both men gave Piet Mondrian guidance and instruction when, at age 14, he began to study drawing.