His earliest work shows the influence of cubism, distinguished by great clarity of outline.
In 1912 he began to develop his own style, known as suprematism (referring to supremacy of feeling over all other artistic considerations).
In this completely nonobjective approach he used only geometric elements—rectangles and squares, first with some color and then with white on white.
A noteworthy example is his Suprematist Composition: White on White (one of a series, 1918?, MOMA, N.Y.)
Joan Miró (1893 - 1983)
Spanish painter, whose surrealist works, with their subject matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy, are some of the most original of the 20th century.
Miró was born April 20, 1893, in Barcelona and died in Majorca, Spain, on December 25, 1983
studied at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts and the Academia Galí.
His work before 1920 shows wide-ranging influences, including the bright colors of the Fauves, the broken forms of cubism, and the powerful, flat two-dimensionality of Catalan folk art and Romanesque church frescoes of his native Spain.
He moved to Paris in 1920, where, under the influence of surrealist poets and writers, he evolved his mature style.
Miró drew on memory, fantasy, and the irrational to create works of art that are visual analogues of surrealist poetry.
These dreamlike visions, such as Harlequin's Carnival or Dutch Interior, often have a whimsical or humorous quality, containing images of playfully distorted animal forms, twisted organic shapes, and odd geometric constructions.
The forms of his paintings are organized against flat neutral backgrounds and are painted in a limited range of bright colors, especially blue, red, yellow, green, and black.
Amorphous amoebic shapes alternate with sharply drawn lines, spots, and curlicues, all positioned on the canvas with seeming nonchalance.
Miró later produced highly generalized, ethereal works in which his organic forms and figures are reduced to abstract spots, lines, and bursts of colors.
Miró also experimented in a wide array of other media, devoting himself to etchings and lithographs for several years in the 1950s and also working in watercolor, pastel, collage, and paint on copper and masonite.
His ceramic sculptures are especially notable, in particular his two large ceramic murals for the UNESCO building in Paris (Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun, 1957-59).
Personage Throwing a Stone at a Bird
Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower
The Farm (La masia)
Chiffres et Constellations
Dutch Interior I
The Table (Still Life with Rabbit)
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), Dutch painter, who carried abstraction to its furthest limits.
Through radical simplification of composition and color, he sought to expose the basic principles that underlie all appearances.
Born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, on March 7, 1872, and originally named Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, Mondrian embarked on an artistic career over his family's objections, studying at the Amsterdam Academy of Fine Arts.
His early works, through 1907, were calm landscapes painted in delicate grays, mauves, and dark greens.
In 1908, under the influence of the Dutch painter Jan Toorop, he began to experiment with brighter colors; this represented the beginning of his attempts to transcend nature.
Moving to Paris in 1911, Mondrian adopted a cubist-influenced style, producing analytical series such as Trees (1912-1913) and Scaffoldings (1912-1914).
He moved progressively from seminaturalism through increased abstraction, arriving finally at a style in which he limited himself to small vertical and horizontal brushstrokes.
In 1917 Mondrian and the Dutch painter Theo van Doesburg founded De Stijl magazine, in which Mondrian developed his theories of a new art form he called neoplasticism.
He maintained that art should not concern itself with reproducing images of real objects, but should express only the universal absolutes that underlie reality.
He rejected all sensuous qualities of texture, surface, and color, reducing his palette to flat primary colors.
His belief that a canvas—a plane surface—should contain only planar elements led to his abolition of all curved lines in favor of straight lines and right angles.
His masterly application of these theories led to such works as Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue in which the painting, composed solely of a few black lines and well-balanced blocks of color, creates a monumental effect out of all proportion to its carefully limited means.
Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red , 1921, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 69 cm, Tate Gallery . London.
When Mondrian moved to New York City in 1940, his style became freer and more rhythmic, and he abandoned severe black lines in favor of lively chain-link patterns of bright colors, particularly notable in his last complete masterwork, Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942-1943, Museum of Modern Art, New York City).
Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie- Woogie , 1942-1943, Museum of Modern Art , New York.
Mondrian was one of the most influential 20th-century artists.
His theories of abstraction and simplification not only altered the course of painting but also exerted a profound influence on architecture, industrial design, and the graphic arts.