Van Abbe And De Stijl
Part of the „Mondrian to Duch Design“ Year
Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
– 31 December 2017
The “Van Abbe and De Stijl” series of events is launched with an exhibition of the same name and is part of the Mondrian to Dutch Design year, held to mark the centenary honouring the Dutch artists’ collective, De Stijl.
De Stijl was founded in 1917 and was a group of painters, architects, and designers. A magazine by the same name was established in parallel with the group. The group’s typical language of form is geometric-abstract and very reduced; it admits to purism and functionality. Theo van Doesburg, a theoretician, painter and architect, was one of the founding members and the van Abbe Museum has a special relationship with him. In 1968, an exhibition was staged that explicitly illuminated van Doesburg’s work. For the first time, in addition to his painting, a focus was placed on his theoretical approaches and his visions of the future. This exhibition altered people’s perceptions of van Doesburg’s work, which up until that time had been overshadowed by the popularity of the painter, Piet Mondrian. The centenary celebration is now being used to revive van Doesburg’s work. At the centre of the exhibition is a model of Ciné-dancing, a cinema in Strassburg’s Aubette building which came about within the context of a conversion in 1927 and was designed by Theo van Doesburg. This model symbolised the seamless connection between painting and space, and gives an insight into van Doesburg’s architectural creativity.
De Stijl had a considerable influence in the Netherlands – and its effects can still be seen today. The particular aim of the Mondrian to Dutch Design year is to present and summarise this phenomenon. As a result, there are also contemporary exhibits on show that have been selected by students of the Design Curating and Writing master’s course at the Design Academy Eindhoven. The context for the various objects’ creation will be explained through drawings, notes, letters, and photographs which will communicate the foundational ideas of the time. The exhibition series intends to take a look back at the past and to be a reference for the future.