From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
De Stijl after style; from the Dutch for "the style" – also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch avant-garde art movement, founded in 1917. In a narrower sense, the term De Stijl is used to refer to a body of work created by a group of Dutch avant-garde artists, from 1917 to 1931.
De Stijl is also the name of a journal which was published by the painter and critic Theo van Doesburg, propagating the group's theories. Next to Van Doesburg, the group's principal members were the painters Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck, and the architects Gerrit Rietveld and J.J.P. Oud. The artistic philosophy that formed a basis for the group's work is known as neoplasticism — the new plastic art (or Nieuwe Beelding in Dutch).
Proponents of De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour — they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white.