Red Yellow and Blue Piet Mondrian Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Piet Mondrian’s painting, Composition in Red Yellow and Blue is comprised of only primary colours: red, blue, yellow, white and black

Thick, bold lines move in the most basic directions: horizontal and vertical, while these colours are framed in simple square shapes.

Mondrian's style Neo-Plasticism or New Plastic Painting style sought to promote abstraction for the expression of modern life. This artistic pursuit was shared by the Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg, a contemporary of Mondrian. Together, these two painters created the highly influential De Stijl (The Style) movement in 1917.

In an essay written by Mondrian, "Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art," he states that New Plastic works "should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour." Perhaps no other work composed by Piet Mondrian exemplifies this assertion better than Red Yellow and Blue.

While earlier Mondrian paintings do make use of curved lines and varying hues, by 1916, he had limited his compositions to the basic primary colours, and straight, horizontal and vertical lines, all the while avoiding symmetry.

While viewing Red Yellow and Blue with the naked eye, one can better appreciate the varying textures and subtleties that lie within the work; the delicately varied shades of black, and the layered brushstrokes in the midst of the bold, white squares.

Piet Mondrian and fellow Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg eventually parted ways, and many years have passed on since the creation of their De Stijl movement. However, their ideals of combining modern art with everyday life as well as their abstract designs and use of primary colours are still relevant and can be widely seen today.