“The white canvas is almost solemn. Each superfluous line, each wrongly placed line, any color placed without veneration or care, can spoil everything.”
Theo van Doesburg
Neoplasticism was a 20th century modern art movement whose proponents emphasized the basics of art in a search for new forms of expression that represented the Machine Age. Also known as the De Stijl movement, which is Dutch for "the style", this art theory favored a type of abstract art that avoided realism and emotional content. Piet Mondrian is probably the best-known artist associated with Neoplasticism.
The essence of Neoplasticism was found in its idealism: a pure representation of the human mind. The clearly defined rationale of the style demanded that its paintings could only be abstract. The representational world was chaotic and impure. Harmony could only be found in simplification, paring down, and abstracting the fundamental building blocks of the aesthetic experience. While it may seem like Neoplasticism placed a burden of extreme limitations on artists, those limitations in fact allowed for a tremendous range of expression.
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