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Rhytmus – also called Rhythm of Black Lines, was painted in by Piet Mondrian in the period 1935-1942
During that period, Mondrian was experimenting with form and colour, by way of minimalist colour and geometric shape. Oil painted on canvas, the painting’s dimensions are 72.2 x 69.5 cm and it is located at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf in Germany.
Mondrian was heavily influenced by Picasso and the cubist movement as well as Braque, however he chose to connect his paintings with his strong philosophical beliefs. Mondrian originally was a founding member of De Stijl, the art movement that was based on the journal by the Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg, who was also a co-founder of the movement.
Later, Mondrian developed his style to include his artistic theory, and founded a new movement which he called, ‘Neo-plasticsm’. This new movement created art that was in its purest form: art that only used primary and non-colours with squares and rectangles created by horizontal and vertical lines. The first of Mondrian’s Neo-plastic styled paintings had thinner, grey lines with much less white space on the canvas.
In the painting Rhytmus, a series of thick black horizontal and vertical lines form different-sized rectangles. The lines stretch to the very edge of the canvas and are different widths apart.
On the top left of the painting, two of the larger rectangles and two much thinner rectangles, have been painted a vivid blue. In the bottom right of the picture plane, just one of the rectangles is painted in bright yellow. Mondrian painted the non-colours in the black lines and white spaces, to symbolise rhythm and beauty. The selection of just two primary colours blue and yellow in this painting represented the new minimalist direction Mondrian was taking in the 1930s.