Happy Birthday Theo van Doesburg!! Dutchman born in 1883, Christian Emile Marie Kupper signed his work with his stepfather’s (whom he regarded his natural father) name: Theo Doesburg. He added the “van” which was a common practice. He was actually the son of photographer Willhelm Kupper. Vincent van Gogh influenced his early desire to become a painter. Later van Doesburg became convinced that abstract painting was the only true reflection of what was in one’s mind. The painter was quite avant-garde in approach after he became acquainted with Piet Mondrian and founded De Stijl. Note the similarities between the two artists in van Doesburg’s Simultaneous Counter-Composition 2, 1929. (I wrote about Mondrian on March 7). I am fascinated with this particular canvas with the underlying composition of colored geometrical shape offset by the bold black grid over top, hence "counter composition".
De Stijl-or The Style began as a magazine promoting the ideas of Mondrian, van Doesburg and Neo-plasticism. Neo-plasticism being strict abstract art relying on geometric shapes in primary colors with black and white, set at right angles to the vertical or horizontal axis.