An introduction to the field of psychological aesthetics for art educators, art therapists, psychoanalysts, artists and art lovers, this book re-evaluates conventional philosophical and psychoanalytic approaches to aesthetic qualities themselves, to the kinds of psychological significance they can generate, and to the interweaving of inner and outer realities upon which this depends. Art history tends to see an artist's work in the context of their life and times; psychoanalysis and art therapy tend to see art works in terms of an `unconscious' meaning that is beneath the surface of its `aesthetic' properties, within the context of the therapeutic relationship. Maclagan draws attention to the intimate connections between the aesthetic qualities of an art work per se, felt out in its material handling, be they attractive, disconcerting or just bland, and a wide range of psychological meanings. Drawing on phenomenology and archetypal psychology, as well as on neglected writers on unconcious aspects of form, Psychological Aesthetics: Painting, Feeling and Making Sense explores this realm of feeling, the different ways in which it is embodied in art and how we can use `subjective' strategies to articulate it in words. It will open new perspectives in understanding both the processes of art making and our creative response to its results.
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