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A work of cryptology: Review of Stephen James Newton's Painting, Psychoanalysis, and Spirituality

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Abstract:

Chi biasima la pittura, biasima la natura . . . . (da Vinci)

Stephen Newton is a 53 year old professional artist with a doctorate from the Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is therefore one of a niche academic fraternity working the disputed borderlands between empirical cognitive science, psychoanalysis as a school of neurophilosophy, psychoanalysis as a clinical professionalism, and the philosophy of art. This is his first high profile book, and it stands proudly in a series which goes back to Freud's 'Leonardo' (1910) and which includes Ehrenzweig's 'The Psychoanalysis of Artistic Vision and Hearing' (1953), Kuhn's 'Psychoanalytic Theory of Art' (1983), Gedo's 'The Artist and the Emotional World' (1996), Glover's 'Psychoanalytic Aesthetics' (1998, online), and a host of anthropological input from the likes of André Leroi-Gourhan, Michel Lorblanchet, Georges Sauvet, Jean Clottes, and Howard Morphy. The book's seven chapters fall into two neat sections, namely an early theoretical statement on the psychodynamics of artistic creation, followed by an erudite application and extension of that theory.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Community Health Sciences, University of Wales Institute, Western Ave., Cardiff CF5 2YB, U.K.

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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