By Hans Prinzhorn
Greater than 70 years after its first ebook in German, Artistry of the Mentally sick through Hans Prinzhorn is still a vintage about the borderland among psychiatry and artwork, sickness and self-expression. The drawings, work and sculptures gathered and analyzed via Prinzhorn are the goods of artistically untrained and unpracticed people – inmates of asylums. This booklet represents one of many first makes an attempt to research the creative paintings of the mentally in poor health. thoroughly spontaneous they're in sharp distinction to more moderen collections that are the goods of occupational treatment or psychotherapy. ahead of Prinzhorn, works by way of the mentally in poor health have been thought of curiosities, by no means the topic of medical or creative research. although, to Prinzhorn they have been "the eruptions of an common human inventive urge” counteracting the autistic traits towards isolation. Prinzhorn demonstrates remarkable parallels among his assortment and people by means of young ones, and among old Greek cultures and primitive ones.
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Additional info for Artistry of the Mentally Ill: A Contribution to the Psychology and Psychopathology of Configuration
11 Wehaveall played the game of interpretation, which in folk art has resulted in permanent sculptures, on beautiful summer evenings when slowly moving clouds present us with a gift - that is the right word because our sense of being active decreases sharply as soon as we give ourselves over to interpretation - of a rich selection of sometimes realistic, sometimes intricately fantastic shapes. We know how much understanding Goethe had for the game of free association. The following lines occur in his poem Howard's Memorial.
Only then will it be possible to recognize mental aberrations in pictures. We can contribute only the barest beginnings. There is very little previous research and the little there is is limited in scope, a fact which is not surprising since rare instinctive abilities and much experience and judgment are required. On top of that, any research not aiming at something that can be measured precisely is simply not fashionable today. Our brief statement of a theory of configuration is supplemented by a section on "eidetic image and configuration," which we also try to restriet to essentials.
The basic elements: lines, forms, and colors) have some power of their own; that is, they contain a certain potential energy as soon as they exist in any combination and are viewed interpretatively with an eye for pictorial cohesion. One can easily describe this kind of observation as a somewhat fantastic mythology of the artistic elements which involves cheap personifications, but it contains a profound insight which affords a better approach to the central configurative process than conceptual deductions.