Previously at the ICA - Events

Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Matter of Life and of Death

25 Apr 2015

Thirty years after the ICA’s 1984/85 Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition, the artist’s only UK solo presentation, art historian and senior Jungian analyst Irene Cioffi Whitfield presents a lecture on the psychological life and work of this artist. This is given in partnership with the Guild of Analytical Psychologists.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Matter of Life and of Death examines an explosive genius who created a full oeuvre of over 1,000 paintings and 1,000 drawings in his short lifetime. For Basquiat, painting was no slow reflective process — he lived, loved, thought, and painted at the speed of sound.

Considered from a psychological perspective, Basquiat’s images appear to burst straight out from the unconscious without much interruption by the conscious ego complex. Perhaps the heroin he ingested into his system, which eventually extinguished his young life, may have been a necessary compensation, slowing down this psychic whirlwind.

Irene Cioffi Whitfield is a native New Yorker who received her Ph.D in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Irene subsequently trained as a Jungian analytical psychologist with IGAP, London, where she is a Senior Analyst, and she is also a full member of the JPA in New York City.  Her special interest is in the interface between art and psychology and in the dynamic nature of the creative process.

The Guild of Analytical Psychologists (G.A.P.) is a psychotherapy training organisation offering courses in Analytical Psychology. At the heart of its training is the connection between Analytical Psychology and spirituality. G.A.P. also provides access to psychotherapy, in-depth analysis and short-term therapy through its membership.


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