Piet Mondrian | Rectangles, Colors and Black Lines
from the Lesson Zone Index
Students will be introduced to the art of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, and will create a work of their own after his style. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.
Blue, Red, Yellow, White and Black Construction Paper
Pre-cut the black construction paper into 3/4x12" and 1"x12" strips for the black lines.
Tell students, "We will be learning about the art of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. This modern artist developed an abstract style which combined squares and rectangles using only primary colors separated by black lines."
Show students Mondrian's oil on canvas paintings Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow (1921) and Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43).
Ask students, "Who thinks they could paint these paintings all by themselves?"
Tell students, "While these paintings look very simple to paint, figuring out the perfect arrangement of squares, rectangles and black lines can be a significant challenge. It was, however, Mondrian's flawless ability to compose the perfect arrangement of these artistic elements that made him the successful artist that he was."
Tell students, "Our art project will be to create your own version of these art masterpieces."
Tell students, "At your tables you will find construction paper in each of the primary colors that you see in Mondrian's paintings as well as pre-cut black lines in 2 thicknesses. Begin by taking a large white piece of construction paper and several strips of black construction paper and arrange them in a way that seems interesting to you. Then think about where you could place a few colored squares and rectangles. When you are happy with the composition of your artwork, carefully glue the pieces to the white construction paper."
Quiz students on the terms discussed during the lesson and what they learned about Piet Mondrian as they work on their project:
Composition: The way the parts of the artwork are arranged by the artist.
Abstract Art: Art that is either a stylized impression of what the artist saw or non-representational art that is completely detached from the things that we see including only lines, shapes, colors, and textures.
Primary Colors: A fundamental color from which all other colors can be made by mixing.