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Oct 27, 1994 01:04 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

William Allen

WA> For years I've been telling my art history students that the
> Dutch painter Mondrian was a Theosophist and attempting to
> explain aspects of his work in terms of what I knew about
> Theosophy.  I'm sure that what I've told them is pretty
> superficial.  Does anybody know of a work or works that deal
> with theosophy and Mondrian or, more generally, Theosophy and
> modern art generally?

     By far the best book I have seen on the subject was ~The
     Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985~.  It was
     published for a show done that year (1985) at the Los
     Angeles County Museum of Art.  It is over 400 pages of
     reproductions and scholarly articles showing the influence
     of Occult and symbolist movements of all types upon art.
     Discussion of Theosophical influence on Mondrian is in:
     "Annunciation of the New Mysticism: Dutch Symbolism and
     Early Abstraction." Carel Blotkamp.  This article not only
     discusses Mondrian's relationship to Theosophy, but details
     art expositions done by Theosophists in the Netherlands and
     Belgium early in the century.  Other articles touch upon
     Kandansky and his Theosophical Connections.  I also have a
     copy of the work that Paul Gillingwater is thinking of, but
     can't find it at the moment.  It isn't as informative as the
     first book I mentioned, but is also well worth while.  It
     has some wonderful reproductions not found in the Los
     Angeles exposition.  If you are unable to locate the Los
     Angeles book, I will be happy to make a copy of Blotkamp's
     article for you.  By the way, Paul Klee also had
     theosophical interests.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins

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