B.A. (BART) VAN DER LECK
1876 Utrecht - 1958 Blaricum
Bart van der Leck was a Dutch painter and designer and, together with Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondriaan, one of the founders of the 'De Stijl' movement. He was born in Utrecht in 1876 and from 1891 he mainly worked with stained glass. From 1900 to 1904 he attended the National School of Applied Arts and the National Academy in Amsterdam. Toorop's influence is visible in some works that were symbolic and religious. After 1906 he painted realistic themes, portraits and street scenes. In 1907 he travelled to Paris, where he was influenced by Egyptian art and the murals of Puvis de Chavannes, a style in which the forms are greatly simplified with sober colours. Art educator H.P. Bremmer puts him in touch with Mrs. Kröller-Müller, who gives him a number of important assignments. In Laren he became friends with Chris Beekman in 1914 and with Piet Mondriaan in 1916 and they inspired each other. In this period he created the first famous paintings: geometric shapes in primary colors on a white background, where reality remains the starting point. In the years 1917 and 1918 he is involved in 'De Stijl' and he creates abstract paintings without recognizable motifs. His use of primary colors and the division into lines and planes has a great influence on this movement, which he does not long support due to disagreements. His work can mainly be found in the Kröller-Müller museum.