The Abstract Unconscious in Painting

David Parker

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The Abstract Unconscious in Painting addresses painting as experiential process, critically examining the psychological factors involved in the formation of imagery as it emerges through imaginative responses to the process of mark making and the structuring of space and form. The paper sets this process in relation to theoretical material drawn from Jungian and Post Jungian Psychology ( Avens, 1980; Hillman, 1975) the arts ( Gombrich, 1960; Kuspit, 2000; McKeever, 2005; Worringer, 1908) and philosophy ( Nietzsche, 1872; Corbin, 1972; Eliade, 1954 ) and frames this within the idea of an Abstract Unconscious at work below the threshold of consciousness. The idea of an Abstract Unconscious is perceived as a new concept in relation to Jungian Psychology — an approach to the unconscious as pre-figurative in structure and essentially pre- cultural concerning its symbolic meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalArt and Psyche Online Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • Abstract unconscious
  • Abstract painting
  • Art


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