Neo Plasticism is a Dutch artistic movement founded in Amsterdam in 1917. Also referred to as De Stijl, the artists involved in this movement are mostly architects. It was assumed that the group’s founding member is Theo van Doesburg, who is a Dutch designer, painter, and writer. He propagated most of the major theories of this movement.
Neoplasticism refers to a body of work produced between 1917 and 1913 in the Netherlands. Aside from Doesburg, the other notable members of this group are Piet Mondrian, Vilmos Huszar, Bart van der Leck, Gerrit Rietveld, Robert van ‘t Hoff, and J.J.P. Oud.
Their movement focused on pure abstraction and universality. Mondrian established this universal art form based on the truths propounded by Theo van Doesburg, which truths were later known as the Theosophy. Mondrian recreated Neo Plasticism devoid of naturalism and other inessentials. Eventually, his works led into an entirely new movement, which was eventually referred to as Elementarism. Elementrarism evolved from Neo Plasticism using evidently watered down principles of the latter.
Legacy and Influences
Neo Plasticism has established a very strong link between art and architecture. The main characteristics of this movement are as follows:
- The use of geometric shapes that ignore natural color and form
- Its compositional elements are mostly rectangular areas or straight lines
- All surfaces are prisms or rectangular planes
- There is a notable absence of circles, diagonals, and curves
- Only the colors red, yellow, blue, black, white, and grey are used
In architecture, one of the most notable Neo Plasticism creations was ‘The Rietveld Schroder House’ built by Gerrit Rietveld. Rietveld also created a Neo Plasticism-inspired piece of furniture which he called as the ‘Red and Blue Chair’.
When it comes to paintings, the artworks that were created under the Neo Plasticism movement include Theo van Doesburg’s ‘Composition VII’, which is also called as the ‘Three Graces’. Piet Mondrian also has an entry in ‘Gray Tree’, which he made in 1912.
The other notable artists under the Neo Plasticism movement include sculptor Georges Vantongerloo, painter Ilya Bolot, architect Cornelis van Eesteren, theater designer Frederick John Kiesler, and poet Anthony Kok, among others.