De Stijl (also known as Neoplasticism) 1917-1931
Unlike in Russia or most of Europe, avant garde artists in neutral Holland were able to work uninterrupted during WW1, and organised themselves under the banner de Stijl. They wanted to propose an antidote to the destruction and chaos from the war. All emotion was to be stripped away, leaving only neutral geometric abstraction. The intention was to lead the public along the path of truth and purity.
Key figures were Theodore van Doesburg, Gerrit Rietveld, and Piet Mondrian. Mondrian based most of his work on an evolution from cubism, arriving at a pure abstraction of only lines and rectangles, using primary colours and black and white. Van Doesburg advocated the use of diagonal lines for dynamic tension, thus angering Mondrian who quit the group in protest.
With the death of van Doesburg in 1931 the group lost focus, and folded. A pared down de Stijl aesthetic influenced many subsequent artists and designers of the twentieth century, among then Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, and minimalists Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.
Today de Stijl is still considered one of the most effective avant-garde movements, leaving a deep impact on graphic design for decades.
De stijl. 2016. De stijl. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/ridarohail/de-stijl-17796391. [Accessed 20 January 2016].