London SE1 community website

Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde at Tate Modern

The first exhibition in Britain devoted to pivotal Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931) has opened at Tate Modern.

Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde at Tate Modern

Van Doesburg and the International Avant- Garde: Conducting a New World looks at the radical artist in his roles as painter, architect, designer, typographer and publisher.

The first room has 'Composition 1 (Still Life) 1916' which looks like a Christmas tree but is possibly a turning point as an early example of his 'geometric abstraction'. 'Tree' in the same year is trees within a tree.

Examples of stained glass include his large 'Stained-glass Composition IV for the De Lange House, Alkmaar 1917'. This is either based on his 'Female Nude with Hand on Her Head' in another room or, according to some, Bach's fugues.

It is exciting to find that this towering figure designed a Gouda cheese label which has been likened to his stained glass. There is also a salad oil poster.

A cabinet includes a rare photograph of the artist and his wife along with black and white pictures of van Doesburg's own exhibition at Landesmuseum at Weimar over Christmas 1924. In one photograph you can see the original Leeuwarden Monument model which has been reconstructed and included in this 2010 exhibition.

Also of interest is seeing van Doesburg's 'Composition IX, Opus 18: Decomposition of The Card Players 1917', now borrowed by the Tate from The Hague, was displayed alongside 'The Card Players 1917' represented now only by a small photograph.

Souvenirs on sale in the shop on the same level 4 include a van Doesburg typeface tea towel (7.50) and a stained glass design badge (3.50).

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.