Piet Zwart


Zwart (Dutch, 1885-1957) began his art education in 1902 at the School for Applied Arts in Amsterdam where he studied until 1907. Between 1908 and 1913 he taught at an all girls school, before returning to study in 1913 for a year at the Technical University in Delft. Working as an architect and architectural draftsman from 1919 onwards, in the 1920s and 1930s he also held several teaching jobs. Zwart was a pioneer in modern typography, became a photographer and worked as an industrial designer. He spent most of his career working as an architect, photographer, as well as a designer and for several years was very successful doing so. However, his artistic career abruptly came to a halt in 1942, when he was arrested by German soldiers and held captive an internment camp. He was released in 1945 after the war had ended, but the experience had deeply affected him. Until his death in 1957, Zwart continued to work as an interior designer, also designing furniture. A pioneer of modern typography, graphic designer Piet Zwart was influenced by Constructivism and De Stijl, but also by the Arts and Crafts movement. Through the excellent use of color, typography, composition and photography, his work is reminiscent of the Bauhaus.