Jungian Archetypes

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 –1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

Two Abstract Expressionists, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, displayed a significant amount of
influence from Jungian psychology in their works, which leads me to study further on his psychology theories.

“Jung agreed with Freud that a person’s past and childhood experiences determined future behavior, he also believed that we are shaped by our future (aspirations) too.

Outlining an important feature of the personal unconscious called complexes. A complex is a collection of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories that focus on a single concept.

The collective unconscious is a universal version of the personal unconscious, holding mental patterns, or memory traces, which are shared with other members of human species (Jung, 1928). These ancestral memories, which Jung called archetypes, are represented by universal themes in various cultures, as expressed through literature, art, and dreams. these archetypes that symbolize basic human motivations, values, and personalities. Rather than being seen as purely biological, more recent research suggests that archetypes emerge directly from our experiences and are reflections of linguistic or cultural characteristics (Young-Eisendrath, 1995). Are his ideologies the mystical and pseudoscientific? and therefore often studied more as a historical artifact and in realms of literary criticism and popular culture applications of mythology than as a major contribution to the science of the mind and behavior.

He was the first to distinguish the two major attitudes or orientations of personality :








“Archetypes could be summed up as a predisposition that is present in humans of every race and era.” This is what I am interested in and far more agreeable than Freud theories. I believe human existence and reasoning are based on vital energy rather than libido.

Collective unconscious is synchronised from a cloud-like shared knowledge-base from the moment we are born. Does this mean we are in fact in a stimulated reality? like a character in a video game, which the same original codes shared with other character?

‘The form of the world into which [a person] is born is already inborn in him, as a virtual image’

Jung, 1953, p. 188

Jung labeled these archetypes

the Self / individuation

the Persona / mask

the Shadow / weaknesses and shortcomings

the Anima/Animus / gender identities

Jackson Pollock. Bird. c. 1938-41 | MoMA
c. 1938-41, Oil and sand on canvas, 70.5 x 61.6 cm

Bird is often interpreted as Pollock’s desire to complete the process of

The Moon Woman Cuts the Circle, 1942 by Jackson Pollock
The Moon Woman Cuts the Circle, 1942

Pollock became closely acquainted with Jungian analytical psychology when he attended therapy sessions with psychotherapist, providing them a lot of drawings and painting, one of his docters Henderson wrote that Pollock was “portraying the unconscious in these drawings.”

Jung’s Collective consciousness is a possible answer of how we can interpret art and images in a similar way despite the cultural differences. Pollock claimed that Native American and Mexican influence in his art came from his own unconscious. While there is a lot of indigenous rituals that may include hallucinating, and I think this may be a part of uploading and syncing with the collective cloud, and somehow Pollock had received those primitive mythical images.

Rothko gained a “respect for the basic tenet of surrealism that artists should work in an
unguarded or ‘automatic’ way, fueled by the fresh, undiluted juices roiling in their
unconscious minds.” Anna C. Chave. Rothko to express human emotions and feelings through the “universal mythic unconscious” in which he looked inward in “portraits”

“the artist’s real model is an ideal which embraces all of human drama
rather than the appearance of a particular individual. Today the artist is no longer constrained by the limitation that all of man’s experience is expressed by his outward appearance. Freed from the need of describing a particular person, the possibilities are endless. The whole of man’s
experience becomes his model, and in that sense it can be said that all of
art is a portrait of an idea.” —— Rothko and Gottlieb, “The Portrait and the Modern Artist”

What does it mean? —— to do art.

rather than what is this about?

  • Urgency
  • In contact of the hands
  • Forms can carry meaning independently in subject matter
  • Improvise
  • Depiction of the unconsciousness / human core
  • Automatism
  • Aesthetic pleasure
  • Freedom of expression



Unveiling the Unconscious: The Influence of Jungian Psychology
on Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko

by Amy Elizabeth Sedivi

Grid in paintings & space – Prina & Krauss

Stephen Prina
Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet, 41 of 556,
Ink wash and offset lithograph
Installation View

“In 1988, Prina initiated an ongoing project titled Exquisite Corpse: The
Complete Paintings of Manet, in which an offset lithograph representing a visual
index of Édouard Manet’s corpus of 556 works (arranged to scale in a grid of
“blanks” based on the contour and dimensions of each painting or drawing) was
exhibited next to a sequence of monochrome sepia ink drawings made by Prina to
the exact size and format of corresponding works in Manet’s oeuvre.” —— D Joselit

“I entitled the Manet project The Exquisite Corpse because it seemed necessary to see a complete body of work, in relation to his body and to my body . . . ”

Stephen Prina

Rosalind Krauss: “Grids” October 9, Summer 1979. [Reprinted in: The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths.

GRID: “In the spatial sense, the grid states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. It is what art looks like when it turns its back to nature. In the flatness that results from its coordinates, the grid is the means of crowding out the dimensions of the real and replacing them with the lateral result not of imitation, but of aesthetic decree. Insofar as its order is that of pure relationship, the grid is a way of abrogating the claims of natural objects to have an order particular to themselves; the relationships in the aesthetic field are shown by the grid to be in a world apart and, with respect to natural objects, to be both prior and final.” …

“The grid’s mythic power is that it makes us able to think we are dealing with materialism (or sometimes science, or logic) while at the same time it provides us with a release into belief (or illusion, or fiction).”

Stephen Prina, monochrome painting (1988/1989)

In this Prina Monochrome painting, he spray paint over the same dimension of the painting of the renown artists that did monochromatic painting masterpiece from the twentieth century, such as Kasimir Malevich, Alexander Rodtschenko, Władysław Strzemiński, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Ellsworth Kelly, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Ad Reinhardt, Lucio fontana, Brice Marden, Robert Ryman, Gerhard Richter, and Blinky Palermo.

The works were spray-painted monochromatic green at an auto body shop using conventional metallic car paint on wood (the paint, papyrus green poly, was used by volkswagen in 1985).

“…the bottom line of the grid is a naked and determined materialism. But (. . .) that is not the way that artists have ever discussed it. (. . .) Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter. They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.”

Rosalind Krauss



David Joselit. Painting Beside Itself

Click to access 0911djoselit.pdf


Installation View Noel W. Anderson
Reflec/x/tion of a Black Cat Bone
(hor)Rorshak, 2021
Bleach, dye, metal leaf, laser-cut basketball leather on distressed, stretched
cotton tapestry, in two parts
20 x 32.3 in (50.8 x 82 cm)
Betty Davis I’s, 2021
Photograph embedded within distressed, stretched cotton tapestry
24 x 18 in (61 x 45.7 cm)
Opus No. 40, 2021
Stretched cotton tapestry
20 x 16 in (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Slant, 2021
Basketball leather and photographic object on distressed, stretched cotton
11.8 x 10 x 2.5 in (30 x 25.4 x 6.4 cm)

Noel W Anderson (b. Louisville, KY)

utilizes print-media and arts-based-research to explore philosophical inquiry methodologies. He primarily focuses on the mediation of socially constructed images on identity formation as it relates to black masculinity and celebrity.

The use of cotton and its attendant vocabulary once woven is an intricate exchange with American history. The grain of images, the “nap of the weave,” the wavering borders suggest the margin creeps into the frame. Collapse is irresistible. Loose threads and the natural warp of the material represent a glitch that invites viewers to revisit their memories and notions. The Jacquard weave recalls analog while accompanying sound and video further develop the artist’s dialogue with how technological developments have changed our seeing. The digital artifact doesn’t glitch or slip. This trains a contemporary eye to trust the given image. The simultaneous familiarity and distortion of these ground images welcome viewers, while forcing them to physically shift in order to register the tapestries’ meanings. This is an exercise in perspective alteration.


Digital image manipulation and exploration of materiality

distorting pieces of memories of history, social context and identity.

By seeing the description of how each piece included the word ‘distressed’, this word can mean the act and emotion. The materiality of cotton also serves another historical connotation, the act of distressing is a physical expression, through the touch of the artist, that shows the internal stance of rebellion to the system.

Also The Jacquard Weaving technology is the first model of codes, and computer engining. The artist is examining the relationship between digital analog and perception.



Group Material

Thomas Eggerer, a former member of the New York-based collective Group Material

: formed in the 80’s and basically was initiative governed by the idea of collaboration on projects dedicated to social communication and political change. Often they used artifacts such as magazine ads, and other found objects from popular culture with recognized art objects, in order to create an ambitious mix. 

Particular drawn to his colour scheme, muted, nostalgic, reminds me of 90’s film, majority of monochromatic and lot of grey tones, often relaxed and calming. During his 2015, his works are named after the dominant colour of the paintings, Eggerer has also cited Philip Guston—who used pink because it was the “wrong” color—as an influence on his colour palette.

The figuration of the paintings, are mostly people figures in a landscape or architecture setting, facial features are blur and vacant, creating a sense of human existence. The effect of deliberate imprecision makes the narratives archetypal and exactly that kind of subtle agenda transforms the works of Thomas Eggerer into something socially and politically charged.

Thomas Eggerer – Waterworld, 2016
The news about exhibitions of oil paintings in Maureen Paley gallery can be found their web page
Thomas Eggerer – The Privilege of the Roof, 2004, detail 
In order to view works from 2015 and 2013 subscribe to gallery web page or contact them
Thomas Eggerer – ABM II, 2012
Phantom Limb, 2015
Oil on canvas
167.6 x 162.6 cm
Red Miasma, 2015
Oil on canvas, 51 by 44 inches
Orange Miasma, 2015
Oil on canvas
165.1 x 162.6 cm


Atmospheric whirls

Stadia II / 2004 / Ink & acrylic on canvas
First Seal (R 6:1 / 6:7), 2020

Julie Mehretu’s works spring from an interest in systems and serve as a direct response to political issues such as war, diaspora and social protest.

“She creates an expression that fuses chaos and order in a structured pattern with loose, abstract gestures. She describes her works as ‘a complex drawn language of marks that behave, battle, migrate and civilize’.

“I am looking for that space where you can’t have that singular, particular experience. It’s about what is undefined, unstable – and for me, that’s important politically.”

Julie Mehretu

Babel Unleashed / Julie Mehretu / 2001 / Ink, acrylic on canvas

Not only that paints are means of colour or emotion, drawings are also a form of a free expression “led by instinct and intuition,” saying by Mehretu, “it opened up a way for me to create work.” The works consisted of drawing with with ink and technical pens, the tools used for map making and architectural drawing. Similar to another artist Sarah Sze, who also use the idea of space in chaotic but systematic, fragmented, yet forming relationship from one to another.

“aerial maps of cities”, and “story maps of no location”, these artworks led to a conceptual way of thinking for Mehretu as she began to liken her process of drawing, layering and moving around to the shifting meta-structures that order our civilisations, considering their implications on the societies that live in them.

key phrases:

incendiary energies

contemporary urban experience


abstract forces of motion

The use of colour — Katharina Grosse

Sydney Festival, City of Sydney and Goethe-Institute Australia

A painting is simply a screen between the producer and the spectator where both can look at the thought processes residing on the screen from different angles and points in time. It enables me to look at the residue of my thinking.

—Katharina Grosse

AMc: Colour is clearly fundamental to your work. How do you go about giving it form, or does it find it itself? Or is the form simply in the mode in which the colour exists – as pigment, as a fluid mixture, as spray paint, as a surface applied on top of another surface?

KG: The way I understand and use colour, it does not generate fixed meanings, and it does not serve specific functions or hierarchies. I want to infuse energy and transformation into a situation or space, so as to trigger alternatives to our habitual responses.

Wunderbild, 2018 (detail). Acrylic on fabric, 1,450 x 5,620 x 670 cm and 1,450 x 5,490 x 690 cm. Installation view National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic
Wunderbild, 2018. Acrylic on fabric, 1,450 x 5,620 x 670 cm and 1,450 x 5,490 x 690 cm. Installation view National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.

Grosse is celebrated internationally for her works of immense scale and kaleidoscopic colour which create sublime and otherworldly environments. Painting directly onto existing architecture, interiors and landscapes, she incorporates reams of fabric, mounds of earth and slabs of concrete.


Grosse finds colour as the significant part of her practice, so do i. Therefore, it’s important to let go the thoughts of adding figuration or representation in the form of colour, if I want to explore just how colour affects mood, reflects personalities, and gestural process. For this instance, exploring materiality in different colour exploration, break the traditional of using paper/canvas or traditional surfaces, how about colour in dirt, colouring plants, colouring recycled objects, colouring shells and what not.

Color is very intimate. It triggers your responses right away. I also use it to retrace my thought structure, which is what I think a painting basically is.

Katharina Grosse



Moving Times

Melbourne Now
David Thomas: Colouring Impermanence - Art Almanac

David Thomas


“Investigation of time and the way we perceive and experience time.”

“Instantaneous time but mechanistic of memories.”

In making abstraction organisation over emotion or emotion over organisation?

“I try to create composites that have both an organised sense of reality but also don’t negate sensibility or sensation, not about self-expression, or expressionism, but it’s more like the way as an individual i deal with material and that can be evocative of a poetic space and time.”

“An illusion, monochrome both as a surface, colour sensation, an atmosphere, as a void, and that cycle of association that I find useful about it.”

Spirit resonance – Chinese painting.

“It’s not about illustrating a state beyond, but a sense of recognising energy. “


“Abstraction is a type of art that turns oneself back into oneself it helps us explore the interior world of feeling and of thinking.”

“…acknowledges the actuality of materiality in the actuality and authenticity of our experiencing the world, not simply about image, we are in a society where everything is an image. What i like about the role of painting both constructed object as well as a felt and thought of art construct so it’s got a multiple range of layers of reading and meaning… complexity to their work


From Point, From Line.

Lee Ufan is recognized for his unconventional artistic processes which underscore the relationship between the viewer, the artwork, and the spaces they inhabit and for philosophical writings that challenge prevailing notions of artmaking with attention on spatial and temporal conditions.”

As one of the foremost figures in breaking conventions as a painter, sculptor and philosopher in Korea, Japan and Europe, Lee marked his status as one of the leading advocates of Japanese avant-garde antiformalist ‘Mono-ha’ and the Monochrome movement (Dansaekhwa) of Korea in the 1960s-80s by effectively banishing imagery and materialization and instead opting for reductive elements that echo the Eastern philosophical paradigm of Taoism. –––– christies.com

Lee In 2006, Lee Ufan, the leader of following movements:

  • Mono-ha(School of Things) has similarity of Materialism and Art Povera – attempts to bring art closer to life with the common language common people recognise. 物派关注物体和空间的关系
  • Dansaekhwa (Monochrome painting in Korean) refers to a loose grouping of painting practice that emerged in Korea starting in the 1960s that also explored materiality. 

“Tension and sensation, presence and absence, the essential binaries of Lee’s art, are expressed in their stunning totality in the present work. The focus of Lee’s practice is inextricably bound to these dualities, as equal importance is placed on the artist’s marks and on the areas of quiet pause that emerge between them.”

 “A work of art is a site where places of making and not making, painting and not painting, are linked so that they reverberate with one another.”


“Cobalt blue powdered mineral pigment (or orange powdered mineral pigment) is dissolved in glue, or sometimes in oil, and left for a while until the color stabilizes. Before working, I calm my breathing, correct my posture, and hold my brush quietly.”


“我既不是日本人,也不是西方人,不属于传统, 也不属于西方的当代;既不可能成为一个西方艺术家, 也不想做一个纯粹的东方艺术家。”

Lee Ufan

Lee Ufan, From Point (1974). Oil on canvas. Photo: Courtesy Kukje Gallery

Lee Ufan

From Point (1974)

Lee Ufan (b. 1936)
From Line, 76045
signed and dated ‘L. U-FAN 76’ (lower right); signed and titled ‘No. 76045, Lee u-fan’ (on the reverse)
oil and pigment on canvas
31 5/8 x 39 3/8in. (80.5 x 100cm.)
Painted in 1976
Lee Ufan, ‘Untitled’, 1979, Drawing, Collage or other Work on Paper, Gouache on paper, Seoul Auction
Untitled, 1979
Gouache on paper
28.5 × 36 cm

Eastern philosophy of Korean artist Lee Ufan,
demonstrating the realtionship between the viewer, the artwork, and the spaces.
From Point, From Line. 1976-1982

In 1967, he published the book of The Aesthetics of Self-Contradiction

“From Point and From Line series, which concluded in 1984. Exhibiting a distilled visual language based on an amalgamation of Eastern and Western aesthetics and philosophy, these works emphasize system, structure, and process through fields of dots or lines to create tension between his gestures and the picture plane, while marking the passage of time.”





Alexandra Levasseur

“Alexandra Levasseur, in Montreal. Known for her work, that combines colored pencils on paper and experimentation with oil on wood panels. Levasseur continues her exploration of female figures in surreal and vivid landscapes, with the need to examine the relationship of the human beings with nature. ” (Widewall)

“This time, Levasseur speaks about her exhibition Puzzle as representing a mind game, which questions the origin of life and usefulness and destiny of human intelligence.” This Puzzle idea can be expand into my upcoming presentation format for the tile system of abstracted and dynamic works. Each line-work and shapes can be pre-planned and re-assemble to create other alternatives, to reveal the order and disorderness of the art, and similarly consisting Levasseur’s idea of the mind game, re-interpreting different rearrangement and interactive act of the work.” -+- I like this concept to push in my work as it opens mystery in representational / portraiture paintings.

+ Levasseeur uses fabric patterns and female figures to show a sense of domestic setting, yet abstract in a way that is flatten with painterly paint, vacant juxtaposition, blurring the pictorial plane, and definite of space, which reflects an internal mental state or dreamy state… I really like the way she incorporates colour that seems pearl-like and iridescent to depict skin tone.

Summergames III. 2012
Summergames III. 2012
Protective Gear II. 2012
Protective Gear II. 2012
La cachette. 2012
La cachette. 2012
L'eau initiale. 2016
L’eau initiale. 2016
Protective Gear I. 2012
Protective Gear I. 2012