International Decorative Art

De Stijl (The Style), 1917-1931

This association of artists and architects and a monthly magazine (also called De Stijl and published 1917-1931) were founded in 1917 in the Netherlands by painter, writer and architect Theo van Doesburg. De Stijl translates as “the style”. De Stijl artists/designers embraced cubist ideals, pure abstraction, primary colors, horizontal and vertical lines, rectangular shapes and use of black, white and gray to express their universal values and absolute harmony. De Stijl designers had a dematerialist approach to design and, along with the Bauhaus, which was greatly influenced by De Stijl, were integral to the development of the later Modern Movement. Painter Piet Mondrian and architect/designer Gerrit Rietveld are the best known proponents of De Stijl. The death of van Doesburg brought the movement to an end.