De Stijl in today’s world

It’s the final weeks of “Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde: Constructing a New World” at Tate Modern and I’m really wishing I’m in London right now.

The De Stijl movement (flat planes of painted color with intersecting lines) has a completely different look and feel in today’s been-there-done-that world than it did when it was shocking the world back in the 1920’s.

The intention of these paintings was to present a purely abstract, flat formal appearance. However, today’s digital world has sharpened human sensibilities to such forms. Upon close inspection of paintings from the De Stijl era, one can’t help but notice the subtle flaws from the forms produced by the artist’s hand and I love it. It gives new life and perhaps unintended interpretation to these paintings.

From Tate Modern:

Van Doesburg, who worked in disciplines within art, design and text, founded the far-reaching movement and magazine De Stijl. This artistic movement of painters, architects and designers sought to build a new society in the aftermath of World War I, advocating an international style of art and design based on a strict geometry of horizontals and verticals.