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(1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXII, 1958: Psychoanalysis, Modern Art, and the Modern World. Herbert Hendin. Pp. 522-531.. Psychoanal Q., 28:421-422.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXII, 1958: Psychoanalysis, Modern Art, and the Modern World. Herbert Hendin. Pp. 522-531.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:421-422

Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXII, 1958: Psychoanalysis, Modern Art, and the Modern World. Herbert Hendin. Pp. 522-531.

A neurotic patient is an excellent indicator of the social stresses in our culture. The analyst thus has a singular advantage in evaluating these stresses. Hendin discusses the psychosexual pressures he sees in his practice. There is competition for success based on creative initiative. Success depends on the individual's capacity to fit smoothly into the hierarchic structure of pre-existing large organizations; the individual may therefore feel relatively small and impotent.

The artist mirrors cultural change. The mechanization and atomization of our age, the conflict over organization versus chaos, structure versus form, is seen in modern art. Competitive pressure and pressure to conform have led the artist to rebellion in individualism and egocentricity. Fantasy has attained increased artistic importance. Subordination of representation of the object to form, line, color, and decoration may be viewed as part of an effort to deal with elements seemingly more permanent than the values put on individuality. Psychoanalysis itself has had an impact on art. Its focus on motivation has stimulated an attitude toward life that expresses dissatisfaction with acceptance of surface appearances

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and seeks to look deeper. It has also led to an attitude that could be called moral relativism. Modern art reflects the same pressures as are revealed to the analyst in his daily contacts with the patient.

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Article Citation

(1959). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXXII, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 28:421-422

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