By inviting a 'conversation' between them, this book offers a nuanced introduction both to Cezanne-the 'father of modern art'-and perhaps the most vital body of theory in contemporary psychoanalysis, 'post-Bionian field theory', as it has been evolving in Italy in the hands of Antonino Ferro, Giuseppe Civitarese, and others.
Cezanne and Bion, each insisting on his own truths, spearheaded quite new directions in painting and in psychoanalysis. Both point us towards a crucial insight: far from being isolated, self-contained 'subjects', we fundamentally exist only within a larger interpersonal 'field'. Cezanne's painting can give us a direct experience of this. For the Italian field analysts, building on Bion's work, the field is accessed through reverie, metaphor, and dream, which now come to occupy the heart of psychoanalysis. Here primitive 'proto-emotions' that link us all might be transformed-as Cezanne transformed his 'sensations'-into aesthetic form, into feelings-linked-to-thoughts that in turn enrich and expand the field.
The book draws on the words of artists (Cezanne himself, Mann), philosophers (Merleau-Ponty, Bergson), art historians and theorists (Clark, Smith, Shaw), as well as psychoanalysts (Bion, Ferro, Civitarese, and others), and it is the first to focus on one particular-and seminal-painter as a way of exploring this aesthetic and 'field' dimension in depth and detail. Aimed at psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, artists, art historians, and the general reader, it suggests how far art and contemporary psychoanalysis are mutually generative.
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