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Theo Van Doesburg Virtosu Art Gallery

Theo van Doesburg Abstract artist Bio

Theo Van Doesburg biography

The artist was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1883, Christian Küpper was formally registered as the son of Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catharina Margadant however, unconvinced of his parentage, he took the title Theo Van Doesburg. Little is known of his early life, but he started painting naturalistic subjects c. 1899. In 1903 he began his army service, and close that time met his first wife, Agnita Feis, a Theosophist and poet. Between 1914 and 1915 the powerful influence of Wassily Kandinsky became apparent from his drawings and abstract functions.

Theo Van Doesburg artwork

While reviewing an exposition, Van Doesburg was introduced to the functions of Piet Mondrian. In these works, he saw his perfect in painting: complete abstraction of reality. Shortly after the exposition, Van Doesburg contacted Piet Mondrian and with associated artists Bart van der Leck, Anthony Kok, Vilmos Huszar, and J.J.P. Oud, in 1917 they founded the magazine De Stijl.

That same year he lectured on contemporary literature in Prague, Vienna, and Hannover, and the Bauhaus released his Grundbegriffe der Neuen gestalten den Kunst (Basics of Neo-Plastic Artwork ). Van Doesburg announced a new phase of De Stijl in his manifesto of"Elementarism," published in 1926. During that year he collaborated with Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp on the decoration of this restaurant-cabaret L'Aubette in Strasbourg. Van Doesburg returned to Paris in 1929 and started working on a home at Meudon-Val-Fleury with van Eesteren. Also in that year, he published the first problem of Artwork concrete, the organ of the Paris-based set of the same name. Van Doesburg was the moving force behind the creation of this group Abstraction-Création in Paris. The artist died in Davos on March 7, 1931, in Switzerland.

"We speak of concrete and not abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, a color, a surface." - Theo Van Doesburg

As the"ambassador" of the De Stijl movement, he toured to market it across Europe.

He moved in 1922 to Weimar, wanting to make an impression on Walter Gropius, leader of Bauhaus Van Doesburg wasn't brought on as a Bauhaus master, but installed himself near the Bauhaus buildings and began to bring school students interested in fresh thoughts of Constructivism, Dadaism, and De Stijl.

Along with painting and boosting De Stijl, Van Doesburg printed DADA magazine, Mécano and dadaist poetry under the heteronym of I.K. Bonset. He dabbled in architecture, interior layout, typeface design, occasionally in collaboration with other artists like Georges Vantonerloo, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, El Lissitzky, and Kurt Schwitters. Van Doesburg remained active in art groups like Cercle et Carré, Art Concrete and Abstraction-Création, which he founded in 1931. By the end of February 1931, he had been made to proceed to Davos in Switzerland due to declining health.

"Our time has produced a need for contrast. This has been achieved not only in the external appearance of plastic expressions of coulor and matter, but also, and chiefly, in the tempo of life and in the techniques related to the daily, mechanical functions of life; namely standing, walking, driving, to lying and sitting - in short, every action which determines the content of architecture." - Theo van Doesburg

Theo van Doesburg Artist statement

"...art and life are no longer separate domains...The word 'art' no longer has anything to say to us. In place of that, we (De Stijl) insist upon the construction of our surroundings according to creative laws, deriving from a fixed principle."
Counter composition XIII, 1929 Theo van Doesburg Virtosu Art Gallery
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