Theo van Doesburg Promotes De Stijl Movement

It was while reviewing an exposition for one of these magazines he wrote for, in 1915 (halfway through his two-year service in the army), that he came in contact with the works of Piet Mondrian, who was eight years older than him, and had by then already gained some attention with his paintings. Van Doesburg saw in these paintings his ideal in painting: a complete abstraction of reality. Soon after the exposition Van Doesburg got in contact with Mondrian, and together with related artists Bart van der Leck, Anthony Kok, Vilmos Huszar and J.J.P. Oud they founded the magazine De Stijl in 1917.

Although 'De Stijl' was made up of many members, Van Doesburg was the 'ambassador' of the movement, promoting it across Europe. He moved to Weimar in 1922, deciding to make an impression on the Bauhaus principal, Walter Gropius, in order to spread the influence of the movement.

While Gropius accepted many of the precepts of contemporary art movements he did not feel that Doesburg should become a Bauhaus master. Doesburg then installed himself near to the Bauhaus buildings and started to attract school students interested in the new ideas of Constructivism. Dadaism, and De Stijl.

Dutch artist and theorist (born Christian K├╝pper), founder of De Stijl. Self-taught, the maverick van Doesburg initially detested the avant-garde and pursued naturalism. In response to the ideas of Apollinaire and Kandinsky , however, his outlook altered, and by 1915 he was fully converted to abstraction. As much a theorist and critic as practitioner, he became acquainted with many avant-garde Dutch artists over the following years, including Mondrian , culminating in the founding of De Stijl in 1917 . As editor of the periodical of the same name until 1928 , van Doesburg was the linchpin of the group, and almost its sole representative after 1924 . De Stijl included nearly as many architects as artists, reflecting van Doesburg's concern with the integration of art and architecture. He taught for a short period at the Bauhaus, and collaborated on numerous architectural projects. His paintings share the rectilinearity of Mondrian's as in Counter-Composition V ( 1924 ; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Mus.), although he later advocated a theory of Elementarism which he considered a correction of Mondrian's Neo-plasticism. His attempt to re-establish De Stijl in 1931 was forestalled by his untimely death.