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Willem de Kooning’s Women: A Psychoanalytic Exploration
Graeme J. Taylor
IPBooks / Softcover / May 2022
9781956864199 (ISBN-10: 1956864199)
Psychoanalysis and Art / Psychoanalysis and History
reg price: $42.50 our price: $ 38.25 (may be subject to change)
302 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

Graeme Taylor has written the first full-length psychological study of the Dutch-American abstract painter Willem de Kooning. His particular focus is on the renowned Woman paintings of the early 1950’s, among the most emotionally powerful images of the female figure of the 20th century.Utilizing recently available biographical details of the artist’s childhood and adolescence, Dr. Taylor brings to bear his deep understanding of the most germane psychoanalytic theories of early infantile trauma, attachment theory, and the repetition compulsion to arrive at a sympathetic comprehension of de Kooning’s relationship with his mother, his wife, his daughter, and the succession of lovers he maintained for the duration of his life. Dr. Taylor has a gift for conveying the essence of some highly sophisticated psychoanalytic perspectives, from Freud to Bowlby to Bollas and others, in a marvellously clear style, highlighting their relevance to understanding the unconscious determinants of de Kooning’s obsession with the figure of the Woman, as well as the dynamics of his creative process in the making of these iconic images. It is a wonderful achievement and a worthy contribution, both to the literature of modern art and to the psychoanalytic study of the creative personality.
Steven Poser, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst, author, and award-winning painter, New York

Willem de Kooning’s Women: A Psychoanalytic Exploration reaches far beyond the title and takes the reader on a most fascinating journey from the depths of psychoanalytic theory to the aesthetic reality of the artist’s mind. The author presents us with a comprehensive analysis of de Kooning’s motivations behind his controversial “Woman paintings,” utilizing several major psychoanalytic theories and concepts, as well as drawing on the neuroscientific contributions of the role of unconscious artistic creation based on the stored emotions and experiences of a lifetime. This book is a gift and Dr. Taylor’s writing will appeal to those versed in critical art theory and/or psychoanalysis as well as anyone who simply garners enjoyment from the visual arts.
Ronald Turco, M.D., Past President, American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry;
Past President, American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians; author of The Architecture of Creat ivity–Profiles Behind the Mask

About the Author

Graeme J. Taylor is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a Psychoanalytic Fellow of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, a retired faculty member of the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has received several awards including the highly prestigious Mary S. Sigourney Award for contributions to the field of psychoanalysis, and the Friend of Psychoanalysis Award from the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society. He has published over 150 articles and book chapters, and has authored, coauthored, or edited several books.

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