LECTURE: Jungian Psychoanalyst Mary Wells Barron presents a lecture exploring archetypal symbolism in the fashion of Alexander McQueen. In the Spring of 2011, The Metropolitan Museum in New York opened and exhibition titled Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. This retrospective of the fashion created by McQueen presented archetypal images of astonishing power. this talk, containing Forty-five images from Savage Beauty explores these "soul clothes" and the creative genius of Alexander McQueen.
LECTURE: This lecture explores the archetypal images of the extraordinary artist, Remedios Varo, who painted her story of individuation. Her work reveals a uniquely feminine perspective of the alchemical process of transformation. Varo was trained in classical and surrealist art, but her magical images are wholly unique. They reflect her deep rapport with the archetypal world, which she expresses with the detail of a medieval miniature and the sensibility of a woman attuned to a profound understanding of the soul.
In her art the theory of correspondences - that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm - is a visual reality. The imaginal world Varo creates captivates with the jewel-like quality of a Book of Hours, yet is utterly a reflection of a modern woman's inner journey towards the experience of her fuller, deeper identity. Jung called this the process of individuation. Remedios Varo's extraordinary visual document of her psychological journey even includes a painting entitled Leaving the Psychoanalyst's Office which shows the initials FJA, for Freud, Jung, and Adler, inscribed on the office door's bronze plaque.
“We may therefore suppose that in alchemy an attempt was made at a symbolical integration of evil by localizing the divine drama of redemption in man himself.”
— C. G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, par 644
LECTURE: The contemporary German artist Anselm Kiefer ranks as one of the greatest artists of our century. Kiefer's art is not about alchemy; it is alchemical, for it gives us images that can transform consciousness.
In this lecture, I shall explore numerous paintings and his masterpiece, an extraordinary sculpture titled Breaking of the Vessels. This title refers to the creation story of Jewish mystical tradition found in the Kabbalah. Kiefer's work can be said to dismember and recreate the myths of western civilization in physical form so that they may be reborn and renewed in our cultural consciousness.
Anselm Kiefer invites us to wrestle with the “terror of history,” our personal and collective Shadow, through works of art that revolutionize our concept of art itself. At the millennium, Kiefer's work calls us to acknowledge the irrational forces that have shaped the twentieth century and, indeed, all of human history.
Mary Wells Barron, M.A., M.I.M., M.B.A., is a Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Saint Louis, Missouri. She trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and has lectured in the United States and abroad for over 20 years on subjects related to the interface of art and psyche. Mary is a member of the Board of Directors of the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) and is a Senior Training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts