17 March 2016

The Story Of De Stijl

The Story Of De Stijl
De Stijl
Red & Blue Chair
The Story Of De Stijl: Mondrian To Van Doesburg, by Hans Janssen and Michael White, accompanies Mondrian & De Stijl (2011), a permanent exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. The book, published by Abrams, discusses geometric abstraction and the magazine that gave the movement its name (De Stijl, edited by Theo Van Doesburg), though it also highlights the wide range of activities of the De Stijl group. These include furniture design (such as Gerrit Rietveld's famous Red & Blue Chair), architecture, urban planning, fashion, and advertising.

The book is organised in "a fragmentary narrative style" with short chapters each discussing a specific event, theme, or artefact. As the Gemeentemuseum director explains in his foreword: "Telling a chronological story might contribute to a linear understanding of De Stijl, which is not emphasised here, but could not do justice to the movement's many facets". HLC Jaffe's De Stijl 1917-1931: The Dutch Contribution To Modern Art (1956) is a more conventional linear history of the movement.

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