Theo Van Doesburg Virtosu Art Gallery

Theo van Doesburg Abstract artist Bio

Theo Van Doesburg biography

Born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1883, Christian Küpper was officially registered as the son of Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catharina Margadant but, unconvinced of his parentage, he took the name Theo Van Doesburg. Little is known of his early life, but he began painting naturalistic subjects c. 1899. In 1903 he began his military service, and near that time met his first wife, Agnita Feis, a Theosophist and poet. Between 1914 and 1915 the strong influence of Wassily Kandinsky became clear in his drawings and abstract works.

Theo Van Doesburg art

While reviewing an exposition, Van Doesburg was introduced to the works of Piet Mondrian. In these works, he saw his ideal in painting: complete abstraction of reality. Soon after the exposition, Van Doesburg contacted Mondrian and with related artists Bart van der Leck, Anthony Kok, Vilmos Huszar, and J.J.P. Oud, they founded the magazine De Stijl in 1917.
"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, toured to promote it across Europe. He moved to Weimar in 1922, wishing to make an impression on Walter Gropius, principal of Bauhaus Van Doesburg was not brought on as a Bauhaus master, but installed himself near the Bauhaus buildings and started to attract school students interested in new ideas of Constructivism, Dadaism, and De Stijl.
"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
In addition to painting and promoting De Stijl, Van Doesburg published DADA magazine, Mécano and dadaist poetry under the heteronym of I.K. Bonset. He dabbled in architcture, interior design, typeface design, sometimes in collaboration with other artists such as Georges Vantonerloo, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, El Lissitzky, and Kurt Schwitters. Van Doesburg stayed active in art groups such as Cercle et Carré, Art Concret and Abstraction-Création, which he founded in 1931. At the end of February 1931 he was forced to move to Davos in Switzerland due to declining health. He passed away on March 7, 1931 from heart failure.

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.

Theo Van Doesburg Counter composition XIII, 1929

Counter composition XIII, 1929 Theo van Doesburg Virtosu Art Gallery

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