A(nother) HOUSE FOR DE STIJL
Building a new society…
"The pure plastic vision should build a new society, in the same way that in art it has built a new plasticism... The new plastic art... can only be based on the abstraction of all form and color, i.e. the straight line and the clearly defined primary color." - wrote Piet Mondrian in the De Stijl Journal.
The Pure Plastic Vision…
Who still believes, today, in “the pure plastic vision,” not only in art, but also in the societal art, if we can use such wards, if indeed such an art ever existed?...
But the same great painter who wrote above painted, prior to the “new plasticism,” trees and cathedrals… yes, trees and cathedrals… or should we just say trees, in nature and man-made, since, in a way, a cathedral is tree-like ?!...
One thing is for sure: this very “modern” art movement was not devoid of spiritual concerns, in other words, it was not exclusively secular, even if its “spirit” was indeed pure, that is, untarnished by “religious” overtones.
For the neoplasticists God was pure, maybe a clean meeting between a vertical and a horizontal, just like in a Mondrian painting.
To call this art austere is to neglect its abstracted sensuality and its chromatic courage. To use primary colors requires courage.
By comparison, the works of The New York Five, more or less explicitly influenced by De Stijl, look today timid, if not frigid. It is exactly because of the absence of color. Plus, as we know, none of them was preoccupied, as Mondrian was, by trees and cathedrals.
The artists and the architects associated with De Stijl ARRIVED at Neo-Plasticism, they didn’t start with it.
They ARRIVED at purity, after years of European immersion in history and wars, in a culture that was less than pure.
But the mysticism of Piet Mondrian was not banished from the cubist and even functionalist frameworks… and we feel it is exactly this spiritual component that differentiates De Stijl from the cubist and functionalist traits of later art and architecture.
What would be De Stijl’s relevance today, 100 years since its inception?!...
Art indeed has two halves, as Baudelaire said… as such, the “eternal and immutable” side of art is unchanged. The purity of Neo-Plasticism is quite “contemporary,” and the joy of the interplay between verticals and horizontals still celebrates life, no less than the “organic” architecture of today, helped as it is by parametric tools.
Perhaps A New Organicism can be contemplated, a la De Stijl, where movement and energy, thus life, can be arrived at with Verticals and Horizontals alone… but behind these mere forms, what counted and counts, still, is the SPIRIT of the work.
And it is THIS SPIRIT that we invite you to re-discover.
Please send us ANY work, ANY size and ANY format by March 15th, 2017. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work. The registration is free. We will exhibit all the works received both on our website and in an exhibition at The University of Architecture and Urbanism "Ion Mincu" in Bucharest.