More than 100 years after Piet Mondrian co-founded the De Stijl movement, the artist continues to be as popular as ever. As Nancy J. Troy argues in her 2014 book, The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian, collectors, curators, scholars, dealers, and the artist’s heirs helped to construct Mondrian’s legacy well after his death, oftentimes leading to the commodification of his works. In the long line of the Mondrian- and De Stijl-themed, there’s the iconic 1965 Yves Saint Laurent dress (and the many imitations to come after), as well as numerous handbags, sneakers, socks, cakes, furniture, manicures, album covers, and everything in between.
In terms of larger projects, for the 100th anniversary of De Stijl last year, the Keukenhof botanical garden in Lisse planted uneven square plots of 80,000 red, yellow, blue, and white flowers for their Dutch Design theme. Meanwhile, The Hague transformed its city hall building into “the largest Mondrian painting in the world.” Outside of the Netherlands, the design for the new Rumyantsevo metro station in Moscow, Russia was clearly influenced by Neoplasticism.
The influence of De Stijl and Mondrian has been felt as much in the built environment as it has in fashion and design. Beyond the 1920s architecture of Gerrit Rietveld and J.P. Oud, the numerous examples of the Mondrianesque in the local vernacular have ranged from hotels and apartment buildings named “Mondrian” in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Bratislava, to a sculpture studio in Centralia, Washington, which also happens to be for sale.
Adding blocks of primary colors can really put the life back into old structures, which is probably why painting them à la Mondrian is so widespread. Whether it’s a house, a coffee shop, a birdhouse, a construction site, or even a parking garage or garbage shed, just a few coats of blue, yellow, red, black, and white can make all the difference.
We scoured Instagram for examples of Mondrian-inspired buildings the world over. Here are some of our favorites.
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