It’s hard to see Theo van Doesburg’s work up close these days, especially paintings. But for this Dutch Landscapes paintings project, the technical and theoretical logic of both Mondrian and van Doesburg is pretty inarguable.
Though the de Stijl folks were pursuing geometric purity and truth, not deploying abstraction as an obscuring, information-smothering blanket, the boundaries of their color planes and lines are interesting reference points.
And fortuitously, a new, expansive exhibition of van Doesburg and his network of influence across the avant-garde, just opened at the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden. It will travel to the Tate Modern in February. Which is as convenient an occasion as any for the release of a beautiful hi-res image of Simultaneous Counter-Composition, 1929-30, which is on loan from MoMA’s collection. Just look how the yellow brushstrokes come up right against the black line. And the free edge on that little white wedge up there,