Theo Van Doesburg and the international avant garde exhibition banner
Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde
Tate Modern: Exhibition
4 February 16 May 2010

Tate Modern presents the first major exhibition in the UK devoted to the Dutch artist and pivotal figure of the European avant-garde, Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931). This is a unique and exciting chance for van Doesburg’s work to be seen for the first time in the UK. This follows in the footsteps of a series of exhibitions looking at different aspects of Modernism, conceived by Vicente Todolí, Director of Tate Modern.

Van Doesburg, who worked in disciplines within art, design and text, founded the far-reaching movement and magazine De Stijl. This artistic movement of painters, architects and designers sought to build a new society in the aftermath of World War I, advocating an international style of art and design based on a strict geometry of horizontals and verticals.

Van Doesburg travelled extensively in Europe in the 1920s making connections and collaborating with avant-garde contemporaries of the time. This exhibition explores Doesburg’s role as promoter of Dutch Neoplasticism, his Dada personality, his efforts to influence the Bauhaus, his links with international Constructivists, and his creation of the group Art Concret.

Including over 350 works (many unseen in the UK before) by key artists as Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Francis Picabia, Gerrit Rietveld, Kurt Schwitters and Sophie Taeuber, the exhibition features van Doesburg’s rarely-seen Counter-Composition paintings and designs for the Café Aubette in Strasbourg, furniture such as Rietveld’s iconic Red-Blue chair, as well as typography, magazines, stained glass, film, music, sculpture and more.

He is the coolest cat in 20th-century art
The Daily Telegraph

Curated by Gladys Fabre, Independent Curator and Vicente Todolí, Director Tate Modern.