Artist profile

Georges Vantongerloo

Georges Vantongerloo is one of the lesser known and yet most important members of the De Stijl movement founded in Holland in 1917 by Piet Mondrian. He worked closely with Mondrian and van Doesburg and was a major contributor to the development of abstract art in the early 20th century. Vantongerloo was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1886 and was exiled to Holland during the war. The comparative lack of recognition of his work is in part accounted for by his refugee status. Dutch Art Historians were prone to give precedence to their fellow Dutch artists thus overlooking Vantongerloo’s interest and importance as an artist.

His paintings and preparatory studies are often based on mathematical formula: they are geometric, considered and linear. Like Mondrian, Vantongerloo used a limited and carefully chosen selection of colours but the basis of his aesthetic philosophy was quite different. Unlike many of his immediate contemporaries Vantongerloo was also an innovative designer, architect and philosopher. 

Biography

1886
Born in Antwerp, Belgium
1905 – 1909
Studied at Fine Art Academies in Antwerp and Brussels
1914
Conscripted as soldier in World War I - wounded and discharged soon after
1914 – 1919
Escaped to Holland, where he met Van Doesburg
1917 – 1922
Co-signatory of the first manifesto of De Stijl art group and contributor to journal 'De Stijl'
1917
First abstract work
1919 – 1927
Moves to Menton, France
1927
Moves to Paris, France
1931
Founding member of Galerie Abstraction-Creation, Paris
1936
Adherent to the basic artistic doctrines advocated by the De Stijl group - the horizontal-vertical composition
1937
Use of the circular line
1949
Exhibited together with Max Bill and Antoine Pevsner in the Kunsthaus Zürich where Vantongerloo was represented with 60 works
1965
Died in Paris, France

Selected exhibitions

2012–2013
Museum of Modern Art, New York
2009
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid
2006
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
2005
Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
2002
Centraal Museum Utrecht
2001
Haus Bill, Zumikon/Kanton Zurich
2001
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1999–2000
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1996
Gemeentearchief, Amsterdam
1996
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1995–1996
Musee Rath, Geneva
1994
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1989
Palazzo Volpi, Como
1988
Museum Fridericianum, Kassel
1986
Akademie der Künste, Berlin
1981
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels
1980
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA
1979
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1978
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
1977
Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
1977
Neue Nationalgalerie, Akademie der Künste, Große Orangerie am Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
1976
Wilhelm Hack Collection, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
1974
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1961
Musée Rodin, Paris
1961
Biennale for Sculpture in Paris
1951
Kunstverein Freiburg
1949
Kunsthaus Zurich
1947
Palazzo Exreale, Milan
1938
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1937
Kunsthalle Basel
1936
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1934
Galerie Abstraction-Création, Paris
1930
International Exhibition, Stockholm
1929
Graphisches Kabinett, Munich