For it was Paris that Cubism originated and where abstract art has its modern roots. This was a movement which led to much more radical departures from the Western tradition of painting than even Kandinskys Expressionist colour chords.
Yet Cubism did not set out to abolish representation, only to reform it. The Feeling of uneasiness created by the brilliant messiness of Impressionist “snapshots” of fleeing sights, the longing for more order, structure and pattern that had animated the illustrators of Art Nouveau with their emphasis on “decorative” simplification no less than such masters as Seurat and Cezanne.
So, as the ideas grew out of expressionism and aimed at a kind of painting that would rival music in expressiveness. The interest in structure aroused by Cubism raised the question among painters in Paris, in Russia and soon also in Holland whether painting could not be turned into a kind of construction like architecture. The Dutchman, Piet Mondrian wanted to build up his pictures out of simplest elements: straight lines and pure colours. He longed for an art of clarity and discipline that somehow reflected the objective laws of the universe. For Mondrian, like Kandinsky and Klee, was something of a mystic and wanted his art to reveal immutable realties behind the ever-changing forms of subjective appearance. Source by Keith McGregor