Collection by Aaron Britt

The Story of De Stijl


The threads of turn-of-the-20th century radicalism in the arts and design have by now pretty much been woven into one broad yarn: capital-M Modernism. But the new book The Story of De Stijl: Mondrian to Van Doesburg by Jans Janssen and Michael White offers a studied look at one of those threads, and ultimately argues that the Dutch art, design, and furniture of De Stijl—like Dadism in Switzerland, Futurism in Italy, the Viennese Secession, other national modern movements—is more strange, and thorny than the going narrative suggests. In a compelling trek through the key figures, manifestos, and designs, The Story of De Stijl offers a richly illustrated vision of what animated a coterie of thinkers, makers, and artists in the teens, 20s, and 30s in Holland. The book is out from Abrams in early December for $45, but have a look at our sneak peek at an excellent present for the design lover on your list.

This painting is a highly abstracted look at the entrance to a mine by Bart van der Leck. Composition 1916 No. 4, 1916,...
Vilmos Huszár's Hammer and Saw (Still life composition) is from 1917.
Born Emile Kupper, Theo van Doesburg (here with Composition IX; Opus 18 (Decomposition of The Card Players) from...
Piet Mondrian is likely the most famous artists associated with De Stijl.
This chair by Gerrit Rietveld hardly needs an introduction.
The forms here in Georges Vantongerloo's "Interrelation de volumes" (Interrelationship of volumes) from 1919 could be a...
De Stijl rarely skimped on color, one of the pleasures of this brand of Dutch design.
Here's another architectural perspective from Jan Wils.
Blocky forms and primary colors from Theo van Doesburg.
Theo van Doesburg and Cornelis van Eesteren, Color design for a university hall in perspective, facing the stairwell,...
Theo van Doesburg, "Counterconstruction," 1923, gouache on collotype, 57 x 57 cm. Collection of the Museum of Modern...