Psychological Aesthetics

Psychological Aesthetics : Painting, Feeling and Making Sense

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An introduction to the field of psychological aesthetics for art educators, art therapists, psychoanalysts, artists and art lovers, this book re-evaluates conventional philosophical and psychoanalytic approaches to aesthetic qualities themselves, to the kinds of psychological significance they can generate, and to the interweaving of inner and outer realities upon which this depends.

Art history tends to see an artist's work in the context of their life and times; psychoanalysis and art therapy tend to see art works in terms of an `unconscious' meaning that is beneath the surface of its `aesthetic' properties, within the context of the therapeutic relationship. Maclagan draws attention to the intimate connections between the aesthetic qualities of an art work per se, felt out in its material handling, be they attractive, disconcerting or just bland, and a wide range of psychological meanings.

Drawing on phenomenology and archetypal psychology, as well as on neglected writers on unconcious aspects of form, Psychological Aesthetics: Painting, Feeling and Making Sense explores this realm of feeling, the different ways in which it is embodied in art and how we can use `subjective' strategies to articulate it in words. It will open new perspectives in understanding both the processes of art making and our creative response to its results.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 159 x 231 x 9mm | 262g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1853028347
  • 9781853028342
  • 862,340

Table of contents

1. The rise and fall of the aesthetic. 2. The split between inner and outer worlds and the impoverishment of psychological life. 3. From iconography to embodiment. 4. From inarticulate to aesthetic form. 5. Aesthetics, beauty and soul. 6. Art, therapy and the therapy of art. 7. Towards a new psychological aesthetics. 8. Putting aesthetic and psychological qualities into words. 9. Conclusion.
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About David Maclagan

David Maclagan is an artist, art therapist and lecturer. He directed an MA at the Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies, University of Sheffield and is also involved with the Art Psychotherapy training there. He has published numerous articles on Outsider Art, art therapy and imaginal psychology, and is the author of Creation Myths.
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