June 1966

Art From the Mentally Disturbed.

Author Affiliations

By J. H. Blokker. Price, $15. Pp 224, with 72 illustrations. Little Brown & Co., Inc., 34 Beacon St, Boston 02106, 1965.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(6):669. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730120109026

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This is a fascinating book both from the point of view of the artist and the art critic as well as that of the psychiatrist and psychologist. It is a translation of a volume first published in Holland in 1962 under the title Geschonden Beeld. Limiting himself to the pictorial work of schizophrenics, Professor Blokker has attempted to study form of representational material rather than content, stressing how it is portrayed rather than what is represented. He illustrates very cogently where art work may provide meaningful insight into the thought processes of psychotic patients, while at the same time offering therapeutic potentialities. Although using conjectural foundations, he proceeds to present a classification of drawings and paintings of schizophrenic patients, demonstrating his presumptions with intriguing illustrations, which to this reviewer are startlingly similar to and cannot be readily distinguished from some examples of modern art. A great point is made that

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