Artist biography

Georges Vantongerloo 1886-1965

Painter, sculptor, architect and writer. Born in Antwerp. Studied sculpture and architecture at the Academies in Antwerp and Brussels; began as a sculptor in a conventional naturalistic style. Was drafted into the Belgian Army in 1914, and interned in Holland after the fall of Antwerp. Met van Doesburg in 1916, joined the de Stijl group in 1917, contributed to the review published by the movement 1917-20 and began to make abstract sculptures applying the principles of Neo-Plasticism to three dimensions. Returned to Brussels in 1918; then lived 1920-7 in Menton, 1927 onwards in Paris. Published L'Art et son Avenir, a collection of essays on his mathematical theories of art, 1924. Made abstract paintings with vertical-horizontal compositions until 1937, then pictures with rhythmical, curving lines. Designed projects for an airport and a bridge 1928-30. Friendships with Mondrian, later with Max Bill and Pevsner. Co-founder and Vice-President of the group Abstraction-Création 1931-7. Began in the 1940s to widen his scope, making wire sculptures of lines in space and later also small works in transparent perspex exploring effects of reflection, refraction, etc. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie de Berri, Paris, 1943. Died in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.741-2