With a psychological approach, a group of painters have created a collection of abstract works on display at Daargoun Art Gallery in Tehran.
Titled ‘Self Abstraction,’ the exhibit opened on November 3 and will run until November 14, from 4 to 8 pm, ISNA reported.
Participating artists are Reza Afsari, Homayoun Tak, Hossein Cheraqchi, Reza Hosseini, Yousef Sharif Kazemi, Reza Onsori and Ahmad Montazeri Roudbaraki.
The event is curated by art researcher, author and poet Maryam Alinejad. In a note on the exhibit she said that the exhibit deals with both personal and collective unconscious minds.
“The connection between abstract painting and psychoanalysis is deep, complicated and multifaceted,” she wrote.
Theories about unconscious minds by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and later psychoanalysts introduced radical changes in aesthetic discussions and definitions of artwork.
“Before the concept of unconscious mind was introduced, artists were regarded the creators who knowingly produced the artworks often defined as representations of subjects existing in the outside world. But later, artists gradually shifted attention more into their inner worlds, concerning more about the creation process than representing actual subjects,” Alinejad said.
Archetypal Imagery in Art
The ideas of Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung (1875-1961) about the collective unconscious and archetypal imagery in particular were popular especially among the American abstract expressionists in the 1940s and 1950s.The surrealist concept of drawing imagery from dreams, and the unconscious, stream of consciousness in writing and painting defined the practice of many 20th century artists.
Jung’s approach to psychology emphasized understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy. Much of his life’s work was spent exploring eastern and western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His most notable contributions include his concept of the psychological archetype, the collective unconscious, and his theory of synchronicity.
Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm.
American abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) created a series of drawings to accompany his psychoanalytic sessions with his Jungian psychoanalyst Joseph Henderson. Henderson who later published the drawings in a text devoted to Pollock’s sessions realized how powerful the drawings were as a therapeutic tool.
“Art is a fruit that grows in man like a fruit on a plant or a child in its mother’s womb,” Alinejad quotes from German-French sculptor, painter and poet Hans Arp (1886-1966) who is famous for his abstract art.
About the current exhibit, Alinejad stressed that the event is not a representation of actual subjects. It is an opportunity to have a glimpse into the depths of the artists’ unconscious minds.
Daargoun Gallery is located at No. 14, Bashardoust Alley, East Roudbar Street, Mirdamad Avenue. The gallery is closed on Saturdays.