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Composition No. 12 with BlueEnlarge image

Composition No. 12 with Blue, 1936-1942

Piet Mondrian
Dutch, 1872 - 1944
oil on canvas
62 x 60.3 cm
Purchased 1970
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15911)
© 2004 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust

As a major figure in the Dutch De Stijl movement, Mondrian advocated pure abstraction. He gradually eliminated subject matter in his painting, and sought clarity, purity and order by reducing his forms to squares and rectangles, and by restricting colour to the primaries, along with black and white. He began the painting in 1936 while living in Paris, and finished it in 1942, after moving to New York where his compositions became more dense and dynamic, reflecting the energy he encountered in the bustling metropolis.

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