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Neoplasticism a Purifying Theory.

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

In 1917 a group of artists in the Netherlands started a movement called De Stijl, which basically means The Style, focused on the concept of the actual purity of forms and shapes and the reality of their nature supposedly overshadowed by figuration.

Needless to say, this urge to reinvent reality came from the anxiety and devastation provoked by the end of World War One, when they needed to believe that there must be something more to life than their current miserable circumstances. However, speaking from a visual point of view, this longing for "something more", was actually not accomplished by embellishment but rather by reduction and simplification.

Fundamental principals:

  1. Prime colors such as red, blue, yellow, as well as the none colours: black, grey and white, is the standard variation that characterizes this concept.

  2. The surface of the object must be flat or a rectangular prism.

  3. The aesthetic equilibrium must be accomplished by enforcing what we in physics call: an equilibrant force being equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the resultant of all the other forces acting on a body.

  4. The composing elements are bound to be rectangular lines or rectangular areas.

  5. Symmetry must be avoided.

  6. The balance and rhythm will be elevated through the objects proportional relation as well as its location.

In fine art, the term Neoplasticism refers to an austere, geometrical style of advanced art conceptually introduced by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian! The New Art describes Mondrian's vision of an ideal and pure form of art and design, which he felt was a post war social demand. A cathartic and abstract concept wrapped up with strict composing rules as you'd already came to appreciate in the previous paragraph where I numbered them one by one.

Moving more towards interior design and furniture, I'd like to take this opportunity to speak about Gerrit Thomas Rietveld and his remarkable contributions very much influenced by the De Stijil movement as being an active member of such.

Rietveld's Neoplasticism proves that one piece of furniture can be produced from the same wooden board in a highly aesthetic and simple manner.

For example, the Red and Blue Chair was designed in 1917 and its revolutionary impact is still these days ever lasting. It's characterized by three main parts that differentiate themselves quit sharply from another, something you'd have already realized if you had a closer look at the pictures above.

The construction of the Red and Blue Chair is based on a module of ten centimeters, which corresponds to the thickness of three rails. The simplicity of its geometrical structure is so clear that the chair could even be build without instructions.

The iconic ZicZac Chair for instance, was designed in 1934 and has also made its way up to fame, because of its unique shape, simplicity and abstract form, which grants this item a very artistic and unique look! Some of our customers at VRG Design Brisbane, also use this beautiful piece of furniture as a side table or simply as a decoration item. Either or, having Rietvelds ZicZac Chair will be an upgrade to your home environment.

It is undeniable that Neoplasticism had a big impact in the coming years since its creation, hitting the Mid-Century Modern and todays Modern World.

Should you wish to order these products, please refer to! Cassina has parted from Space Furniture and enrolled with this new retailer that has now the sole and exclusive right to sell their products in Australia. A flag ship store is already opened in Perth and plans for Sydney and Melbourne is already in progress. Don' worry Brisbane for there is plans for a store later next year in our wonderful city too.

Fabio Ragona

VRG Design Brisbane.

25Th November 2020

Visual Sources:

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