Art School | Intro to Neo-Plasticism

by , posted on September 11th, 2012 in Art School

Today’s art lesson is an introduction to Dutch artist Piet Mondrian and the concept he created which he termed Neo-Plasticism. Born in The Netherlands in 1872, Mondrian spent most of his time there or in France, particularly Paris. Neo-Plasticism is an abstract form which consists of horizontal and vertical black lines with shapes within this grid filled in with the three primary colors. A famous quote from Mondrian to express his art is:

“I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things… I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.”

Some examples of Mondrian’s famous works are below.


Today we will be creating our own inspired Mondrian. In keeping with the inspiration pieces we will be using construction paper in red, yellow and blue, with black tape serving as our grid lines.

Supplies: black electrical tape or black duct tape, blue/red/yellow construction paper, white paper, ruler, glue stick, pencil, razor or straight edge and scissors

First you will want to use your ruler and pencil to create a few rectangles and squares of different sizes on the 3 construction sheets.

Next, cut out all the shapes, we may not use them all but it’s good to have quite a few to choose from.

Go ahead and play with the layout of the shapes, mixing the colors and locations of all of your shapes. And once you like the layout go ahead and use your glue stick to secure them in place.

We will now use our black tape to create the grid between all the shapes. You’ll want to cut the tape down a bit in size ahead of time for younger grades. Each side of each shape should have a black grid. Here’s the beginnings of our grid.

It’s okay if the tape hangs off the paper a bit. The last step we will trim it down.

Your grid might look something like this when you are finished.

Now it’s time to trim the edges. I would recommend an adult do this part, using a straight edge or a razor.

And now you have your completed Mondrian Neo-Plasticism piece of your own!

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2 Responses to “Art School | Intro to Neo-Plasticism”

  1. Says:

    September 11th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I love this! Simple and fun and a little lesson in art history. Love!

  2. Jillian in Italy Says:

    September 13th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I love Deborah art projects for kids. This one is great for my little Dutch speaking kids too.

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