chapter  1
5 Pages

Introduction

Ever since Sigmund Freud published his monograph on Leonardo da Vinci in 1910, psychoanalysts have attempted to understand the psychology of art, artists, creativity and aesthetic experience. Over several generations new psychoanalytic models have been promoted which re¯ect the evolving nature of theory and practice ± each explaining art and artists in its own light. The perspective I will use is a contemporary psychoanalytic one, with an emphasis on mind as embedded in cultural, developmental and relational contexts, as well as the importance of self-experience and idealization. In an earlier book (Hagman, 2005) I elaborated the theory behind this new psychoanalytic model, pointing out the developmental origins of aesthetic experience; the role of idealization in early attachment and its bearing on the creation and appreciation of art; the dynamics of the creative process; the nature of beauty, ugliness and sublime experience; and the multiple dimensions of human subjectivity in culture, what George Gadamer calls ``festival'' (Gadamer, 1986, p. 39). In this volume I will apply these ideas to our understanding of modern art and modern artists. My hope is to illustrate a new psychoanalytic approach as well as increasing our appreciation of the role of individual psychological dynamics in larger cultural developments.