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The Discovery of the Art of the Insane [Paperback]

John M. Macgregor


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Book Description

28 Jan 1993
This pioneering work, the first history of the art of the insane, scrutinizes changes in attitudes toward the art of the mentally ill from a time when it was either ignored or ridiculed, through the era when major figures in the art world discovered the extraordinary power of visual statements by psychotic artists such as Adolf Wlfli and Richard Dadd. John MacGregor draws on his dual training in art history and in psychiatry and psychoanalysis to describe not only this evolution in attitudes but also the significant influence of the art of the mentally ill on the development of modern art as a whole. His detailed narrative, with its strangely beautiful illustrations, introduces us to a fascinating group of people that includes the psychotic artists, both trained and untrained, and the psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, critics, and art historians who encountered their work."The psychotics who haunt Mr. MacGregor's pages desperately fling images at us from the midst of their manias, suicidal depressions or paranoid reconstructions of the cosmos. . . . Mr. MacGregor is able to show that their work is by no means sealed off from culture. However private their visions, the ways they represent them in art are shaped to a surprising degree by the styles and taste that dominate their respective times. Mr. MacGregor has written a valuable, at times even a daring book."--Michael Vincent Miller, The New York Times Book Review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; New edition edition (28 Jan 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691000360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691000367
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,489,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The psychotics who haunt Mr. MacGregor's pages desperately fling images at us from the midst of manias, suicidal depressions or paranoid reconstructions of the cosmos. . . . A valuable . . . [and] daring book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of the Insane 11 Jan 2007
By M. Cimino - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book traces the history of art from asylums throughout the ages. In the need of inspiration? Want to look at art from a new perspective? This is the book for you.
9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality is thin, thank god I'm on this side 30 April 2000
By Noath Owl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This art is the key to understanding the isnsane, most people will be afraid of this art, it is disturbing. I highly recommend this book, as it is an monument to cruelty, as side we never see.
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