The accomplishments of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and his associates in the De Stijl group seem to be endlessly fascinating, if one can make this judgment on the basis of the sheer quantity of ambitious publication over the past decade. Why this is so appears, however, to be somewhat puzzling when seen against the broad-based rejection of “radical” modernism in this same decade —the period of so-called postmodernism. Is it nostalgia (a very postmodern sentiment) that has bred a renewed fascination with postmodernism’s ideologically more surefooted predecessor, or is it a niggling fear that something more aesthetically durable has been lost sight of? Or is it just old-fashioned pedantry gravitating toward Mondrian and De Stijl because there is so much theory, so many documents to edit and analyze? Supporting the last of these three possibilities is the clear fact that Mondrian and De Stijl are almost unique among...

 

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