This link shows the Mondrian painting I saw recently at The Hepworth,Wakefield: Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue 1935, Oil on canvas,560 x 552 mm. I have started to make some studies of it.
I was chatting with someone about abstract painting and contemporary art and, intending to say “post-modernism” it came out as “post-Mondrianism”
The first time I ever heard the word ‘post-modernism’ was in a lecture in 1979. I have no idea who was lecturing but the case they were making for post-modernism was a lot to do with Kandinsky’s notion of the spiritual and both his and Mondrian’s links to Theosophy, but I remember struggling to understand how that was post anything.
There’s a show at The V&A just now called Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 on the blurb they say “many modernists considered style to be a mere sideshow to their utopian visions; but for the postmodernists, style was everything”. I guess what they say here about “many modernists” would be true for Mondrian, who was highly utopian. So perhaps ‘post-Mondrianism’ says ‘post-modernism’ after all.
Ross Wolfe’s blog charts the importance of Utopianism for modern art and architecture, it’s subsequent demise leading to late and post modernism.