Piet Mondrian

Alongside Picasso, Mondrian is synonymous with Modern Art, and the mere mention of his name immediately raises one of his iconic geometric masterpiece of primary-colored squares contained by bold, black and perpendicular lines. Mondrian began by working in various styles influenced by Post-Impressionism. His work, though, was motived by a desire to attain a sort of spiritual communion with the divine, which by 1913 took his work in increasingly abstract directions. It wasn’t until 1920–21that he settled on the style for which he is best known for.

Ellsworth Kelly

During the 1950’s, he started showing bright, multi-panelled, monochromatic canvases. In many respects, he was something of an outsider during the rise of the New York School, both figuratively and literally as he developed his aesthetic while living in Paris, where he’d moved in 1948. All the same, Kelly’s work was met with critical acclaim. His exploration of the relationship between form and color departed from earlier geometric abstractions and Abstract Expressionism because it was purely formal in nature. Kelly’s work set the tone for much of the art that followed, including Minimalism, hard-edge painting, color field and even Pop art.