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INSPIRATION | February 23, 2022 | By Saxon Henry
Mondrian Modernist Style Explored
The Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, who would be one of the founders of the De Stijl movement in the Netherlands when he was in his forties, was so enamored with the Cubist works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque he moved to Paris in 1911 in order to be closer to those working in that style. This exposure was the foundation for the purity of abstraction for which he is remembered. “I wish to approach truth as closely as is possible,” he said, “and therefore, I abstract everything until I arrive at the fundamental quality of objects.” The video below, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, illustrates this desire.
Mondrian Turns to Modern
In his best-known paintings from the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes to lines and rectangles, and limited his palette to fundamental basics to arrive at this pure abstraction, which made him famous. His use of asymmetrical balance and a simplified pictorial vocabulary were crucial in the development of modern art, and his iconic abstract works remain influential in design and familiar in popular culture to this day.
Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966. Image courtesy WikiMedia and Eric Koch.
Our product line reflects how relevant his influence remains: with the introduction of the offerings in the Mister M family of products, we make a strong statement of modernity in primary colors inspired by his works. Our VP/Creative Director placed them in a Mondrian Modernist style story that has the same lush primary color palette the artist favored.
Our Mondrian Modernist Style Story
The Mister M Red and Blue Disc Table Lamp is made of wrought iron and concrete in powerful hues of blue, yellow, red, and black. We also offer a disc floor lamp, both of which are standouts in our Mondrian Modernist style story.
Tom Caldwell calls the Mister M Red Table Lamp a modern version of a traditionally shaped urn. “We’ve cleaned up the lines and eliminated much of the detail which would have been prominent on the traditional piece,” he explains. “The red lacquer finish is accentuated with a black lacquered parchment shade. The combination of clean lines, bright contrasting colors, and great scale makes the piece a real statement item.” We also offer this design with a white body and blue shade.
Vases in the Mister M Collection are a nod to Mondrian style.
Accessories in this family of products includes (from left to right) front, Mister M Red Black and Yellow Vase; back, Mister M Tall Vase; front, Mister M Trapeze Vase; back, Mister M Round Black and Red Vase; and front, Mister M Yellow, Blue, and Red Vase.
A Bit About De Stijl Philosophy
To De Stijl enthusiasts, the basic vertical and horizontal elements represented two essential opposing forces in a number of ways: the positive and the negative, the dynamic and the static, and the masculine and the feminine. The strict balance of Mondrian’s compositions reflects what he saw as the universal balance of these forces. Another aim for the artists of De Stijl was to express a utopian ideal of universal harmony in all of the arts by way of their pure abstractions and pared down palettes. Mondrian believed that his vision of modern art would transcend divisions in culture and become a new common language based in clean primary colors, a flatness of forms, and the dynamic tension in his canvases.
Our Mister M family of products are some of our most colorful introductions.
Describing his theory of Neo-Plasticism, he said the surface of the canvas was a new method for representing modern reality. “The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object,” Mondrian believed. “Therefore, the object must be eliminated from the picture.” We’re sorry to disagree with this visionary but we contend the objects in the above image, arranged as they are, deserve to be shown front-and-center because they are beauty personified!
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