Jung’s Relationship to the Arts: A Complex Situation
Jung’s first encounters with his anima are documented in the fantasies, dreams, paintings, and intra-psychic dialogues that filled the Black Books and would subsequently find expression in the Red Book. They are striking, even tortuous on many accounts, and one of the conflicts revealed therein centers around the subject of art. Why was Jung at times so staunchly critical of modern artists such as in his famous essays on Picasso and James Joyce, while at the same time producing compelling images born of his inner work that demonstrated clear resonances with works by other modern artists such as Kandinsky and Klee?
Jung who foremost considered himself an empiricist and a scientist, and NOT an artist, but who nevertheless produced the Red Book, whose images are celebrated and valued by artists, art critics, and laymen alike, had a more valanced approach to art, artists, and the creative process than is commonly considered in Jungian studies.
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