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1px; font: 11.5px ‘Myriad Pro’; color: #2d2829}span.s1 {font: 12.0px ‘Myriad Pro’; color: #000000} Theo van Doesburg was one of the leading founders of the De Stijl movement.

Working for about 40 years he was able to create an entire art movement. Van Doesburg had one major counterpart in the De Stijl movement, Piet Mondrian. The two of them worked together to create De Stijl movement. Van Doesburg was born in 1883 and raised in Utrecht Netherlands. In his childhood, his mother remarried and Van Doesburg chose to change his last name to match his step fathers.

Van Doesburg was originally trained in acting and singing before changing careers into painting. This training helped him expand the mediums that De Stijl was applied to. His first exhibition was in 1908, and a few years after he started promoting himself in magazines.

Sadly, his art career was put on hold from 1914-1916 as he was placed in the Dutch army for World War I. Shortly after was when he made friends with Piet Mondrian and De Stijl movement really started. Van Doesburg promoted De Stijl across Europe through magazines. Through his life he had four marriages.

Three of those ending in divorce and his last one ending when he died in 1931. The De Stijl movement lasted from about 1917 to 1931. The “standard” version is an abstract art using primary colors and geometric shapes. Van Doesburg’s version was very similar but he allowed for subtle tone shifts and diagonal lines. Shapes also could be tilted and can vary in length and size. Van Doesburg also believed that these ideas could be applied to many different mediums. Some of Van Doesburg most famous De Stijl art was Dancers (1916), Stained Glass Composition IV (1918), and Rhythm of a Russian Dance (1918). Other famous artworks of De Stijl are Composition A (1920) by Piet Mondrian, Red Blue Chair (1923) by Gerrit Rietveld.

 In Van Doesburg’s later life, he actually grew apart from Mondrian. Despite working great lengths together to establish De Stijl together, in 1924 they spilt. While nobody knows for sure why they spilt the leading theory is they spilt over weather diagonal lines could be allowed in De Stijl. It also could be due to differing personalities since Van Doseburg was extroverted and Mondrian was very introverted. Although Van Doesburg and Mondrian did not end on good terms they were able to create an entire art movement before they died.

Van Doesburg died in 1931, and De Stijl momentum dying off shortly after. In the 1960 De Stijl made a slight reappearance in a new style of Minimalism. 


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