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Appendix 1

Adrian Stokes Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Donald Meltzeri

On 15 December 1972, in a lovely terraced Georgian house in Church Row, the most beautiful street in Hampstead, the country playground of eighteenth-century London, Adrian Stokes (1902–1972) died quietly and with great dignity, painting to the very last despite the impairment from brain metastases of a rectal carcinoma. His life was both a private and a public one of unflagging devotion to art and to psychoanalysis – and to building a bridge between the two that will stand for generations.

He was born in London and educated at Rugby and Magdalen College, Oxford. Handsome and sociable, a superb tennis player and gifted speaker, his life was equally divided between the scholarship of art history, painting, and participation in the worlds of art and psychoanalysis. He numbered many of the most distinguished figures of both worlds among his personal friends: Ezra Pound, Naum Gabo, D. H. Lawrence, Roger Money-Kyrle, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, and many, many others. He served the Tate Gallery for several years and saved the work of the Cornish primitive, Alfred Wallis, from destruction at the time of the artist's death in poverty and obscurity. He was among the first patients of Melanie Klein when she came to England, and this experience coloured his life and activities thereafter. In 1950, with the musician Robert Still, he founded the Imago Society of London.

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CHAPTER THREE Modes of art and modes of being

Adrian Stokes Harris Meltzer Trust PDF

CHAPTER THREE

Modes of art and modes of being

Carving and modelling i

S

o we shall now attack the vital though confused aesthetic distinction between carving and modelling.

There must be a profound aesthetic distinction between them. As everyone knows, carving is a cutting away, while modelling or moulding is a building up. Agostino’s virtue will shed new light upon the high imaginative constructions which common fantasy has placed around each of these antithetical processes (imagination itself is a plastic agency, fashioning its products with fragments). Agostino’s virtue will illumine afresh the field of visual art. For the distinction between carving and modelling proves to be most suggestive in relation to all visual art.

***

i From “Carving, modelling and Agostino”, Stones of Rimini, 1934, pp.

108-109; Critical Writings I, pp. 229-230)

51

52

ART AND ANALYSIS: AN ADRIAN STOKES READER

That distinction between carving and modellingii is for me one of the most fruitful in the visual arts: it applies to all of those arts. I enlarged in this distinction in Stones of Rimini. I showed that in the early Renaissance there was an architecture and sculpture that is the epitome of carving conception. Also in The Quattro Cento I showed that there is constancy of life in early Renaissance stone ornaments, a tense communion with the plane from which they were cut. These ornaments do not give the effect of having been stuck there. On the contrary they are integral with their background plane. They appear to be more than decoration: for through them we witness powers in the wall on which they lie, just as his face shows the man. Whatever its plastic value, a figure carved in stone is fine carving when one feels that not the figure, but the stone through the medium of the figure, has come to life. Plastic conception, on the other hand, is uppermost when the material with which, or from which, a figure has been made appears no more than so much suitable stuff for this creation [… ].

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CHAPTER SIX Construction of the good mother

Adrian Stokes Harris Meltzer Trust PDF

CHAPTER SIX

Construction of the good mother

Inside out: an autobiographical narrative i

This is not a book about childhood, except for a little of my own. The “working-out”, as the title suggests, a certain relation to the external world, provides the subject.

(From the preface to Inside Out, 1947)

G

oing down the hill one morning towards Lancaster

Gate, my eldest brother remarked on an orange cloud in a dark sky: a thundercloud, he said. And sure enough, that afternoon there was a thunderstorm.

At nearby Stanhope Gate, an old woman sold coloured balloons. It was as if the lot had burst. I think I remember well this small event since it symbolizes an exceptional happening. For once the glowering suspense, the feeling of things hardly redeemed, was contradicted by a menace that came to violent fruition. The thing was done and finished with: the storm happened and passed, and the small orange i From Inside Out, 1947, 7-32; Critical Writings II, 142-158.

125

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2 - Art and the Inner World

Adrian Stokes Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Painting and the inner world i

It seems desirable that I give a precise account of what I mean by the inner world, the one of Freud and Melanie Klein. Apart from the fact that I claim no precise picture, there is always the difficulty that the concepts of psychoanalysis are little known and far less understood, yet it is impossible to interpolate several treatises available elsewhere.

The aspect of the psyche that most concerns our context is the potential chaos and the attempts to achieve stability whether predominantly through defences of splitting such as getting rid of parts of the psyche on to other people, or through denial, omnipotence, idealization, or whether predominantly by the less excluding method, the prerogative of the truly adult being, that entails recognition of great diversity in the psyche under the aegis of trust in a good object. The word “object” may seem obscure but it is used with determination. By means of introjection, the opposite of projection, the ego has incorporated phantasy figures (and part-figures such as the breast) both good and bad. These are objects to us not only because they have come from without but because they can retain within the psyche their phantasied corporeal character. The ego itself may be much split: many parts may have been projected permanently to inhabit other people in order to control them, an instance – it is called projective identification – of the interweaving of outer and inner relationships. Though this phantasy-commerce be deeply buried in our minds, it colours, nevertheless, as I have indicated, the reception of sense-data in much-transposed terms. Form in art, I have urged elsewhere, reconstitutes the independent, self-sufficient, outside good object, the whole mother whom the infant should accept to be independent from himself, as well as the enveloping good breast of the earliest phase, at the foundation of the ego, the relationship with which is of the merging kind. In this reparative act the attempt must be made to bring less pleasing aspects of these objects to bear, parallel with the integrative process in the ego as a whole that art mirrors no less.

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APPENDIX ONE Donald Meltzer

Adrian Stokes Harris Meltzer Trust PDF

APPENDIX ONE

Donald Meltzeri

O

n 15 December 1972, in a lovely terraced Georgian house in Church Row, the most beautiful street in

Hampstead, the country playground of eighteenthcentury London, Adrian Stokes (1902–1972) died quietly and with great dignity, painting to the very last despite the impairment from brain metastases of a rectal carcinoma. His life was both a private and a public one of unflagging devotion to art and to psychoanalysis – and to building a bridge between the two that will stand for generations.

He was born in London and educated at Rugby and

Magdalen College, Oxford. Handsome and sociable, a superb tennis player and gifted speaker, his life was equally divided between the scholarship of art history, painting, and participation in the worlds of art and psychoanalysis. He numbered many of the most distinguished figures of both worlds among his personal friends: Ezra Pound, Naum Gabo, D.

H. Lawrence, Roger Money-Kyrle, Ben Nicholson, Barbara

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