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Look Inside Psychostrategies of Avant-Garde Art

Psychostrategies of Avant-Garde Art

Out of Print

  • Date Published: August 2000
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2011
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521452779

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print May 2011
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About the Authors
  • Donald Kuspit offers here an innovative psychoanalytic interpretation of avant-garde art, from its origins in the nineteenth century to its demise in the late-twentieth. Avant-garde art, the author argues, is a response to the conditions of modernity, particularly the crowd, which undermines and destroys the artist's sense of self. The avant-garde artist uses psychostrategies in order to restore his sense of self. These include a close identification with his medium, which becomes a 'signature substance' into which he escapes; making hallucinatory art in which he shows his own insanity, which becomes a way of escaping the pseudo-sanity of the crowd; or trying to transcend the crowd altogether by escaping into a world of abstraction, which functions in a religious way to afford an 'oceanic experience'. Drawing on numerous examples of avant-garde art, Kuspit makes extensive use of psychoanalysis, largely from British object-relational theory, to underline and elaborate his ideas. An extensive reinterpretation of Manet, officially the first avant-garde artist, and in whom all the various psychostrategies exist in seminal form, forms a keynote to this study.

    • Offers a unique psychoanalytic interpretation of avant-garde art in all of its many forms, disclosing an underlying psychodynamic pattern to it
    • Provides a major reinterpretation of Manet, the avant-garde father figure
    • Demonstrates that avant-garde art provided a sense of authentic selfhood amidst the instability of the modern world
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2000
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521452779
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 162 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.705kg
    • contains: 35 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2011
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reasons for anxiety and ambivalence: tradition, sexuality, the crowd
    2. The anal universe of the crowd
    3. Identification with the medium
    Hallucinatory insanity: the way to another reality
    5. The geometry of heaven, the energy of angels: to soar at last beyond.

  • Author

    Donald Kuspit, State University of New York, Stony Brook

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