Modernists thought they were suspicious of things from the Victorian era and decided to change their perception on things; Postmodernists said they were suspicious of modernist rules; Victorians wanted to challenge the rules of their past. Each generation challenged the rules of their past, sparking a revolution against the conformities they were once confined by.
Every generation of art is influenced by that of the past: Victorians added in lots of details because it wasn’t possible before and was a sign of wealth; to counter this Modernists decided to remove the detail and keep everything as pared back as possible. Does this mean that classic American grid layout cities are modernist? I see postmodernism, then, as anything. Make something that obviously crushes the rules of another way of thinking – a sideboard with no detail to it’s structure all – but then add something from another era to usurp another way of thinking – add a highly detailed handle to the sideboard. Postmodernists are ruleless, but they need to know the rules of the past to be able to deliberately do something against type. The Sex Pistols were lyrically pushing boundaries with their songs, but their songs still conformed to the general structure of a song – i.e. verse, chorus, verse, chorus, guitars, drums and bass.
What follows postmodernism? Anything goes? Meh? Meme? Are we just taking influences from the themes of the past and calling it new?