(b Antwerp, 24 Nov. 1886; d Paris, 5 Oct. 1965). Belgian sculptor, painter, architect, and writer on art, active mainly in France, one of the pioneers of a mathematical approach to abstract art. In 1917 he joined the De Stijl group and turned from the conventionally naturalistic style he had previously practised to abstract sculptures in which he applied the principles of Neo-Plasticism to three dimensions (Interrelation of Volumes, 1919, Tate, London).
From 1919 to 1927 he lived in the French Riviera resort of Menton and then for the rest of his life in Paris, where he was a member of Cercle et Carré and one of the founders of Abstraction-Création. From 1928 he began to design ambitious (and unrealized) architectural projects, including a ‘Skyscraper City’ (1930), whose cubiform structure resembles that of his sculptures. In the 1940s his sculpture became more varied as he began using wire and perspex, exploring effects of reflection and refraction. His paintings were based on horizontal and vertical lines until 1937, when he introduced rhythmic curving lines, rejecting his friend Mondrian's idea that only constructions based on the right angle reflect the harmony of the universe.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)