A. Hernández Merino, O. Martínez Azumendi, L. Pacheco Yáñez Neurosciences and History 2021;9(3):119-127
Type of article: ORIGINAL
A. Hernández Merino1, O. Martínez Azumendi2, L. Pacheco Yáñez3 1Doctor of fine arts. Art therapist and occupational therapist, CSM (Agència Valenciana de Salut). Co-coordinator, master’s programme in art therapy. Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain. 2Psychiatrist. Department of history of medicine and healthcare. Academia de Ciencias Médicas de Bilbao. Author of the blog www.psiquifotos.com. Bilbao, Spain. 3Psychiatrist. Department of history of medicine and healthcare. Academia de Ciencias Médicas de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain. Bizkaia Mental Health Network and BioCruces healthcare research institute, Bizkaia, Spain.
Artworks by patients with mental disorders have been a subject of interest for psychiatrists since the 19th century due to their diagnostic value; for avant-garde artists, they support the recognition of the irrational as a source of inspiration. The exhibition “Pinacoteca psiquiátrica en España, 1917-1990” (Psychiatric art gallery in Spain, 1917-1990) included photographs of works by a “graffiti artist” in the Provincial Psychiatric Hospital of Murcia, dating to the 1930s, discovered among the papers of Dr Lafora. The exhibition raises questions about the importance of the drawings, their origin, and the involvement of Dr Alberca Lorente, whose name appears in one of the pieces. There was no precedent for photographs of this type of murals that were frequently made by patients at psychiatric hospitals, which were typically dismissed as the impulsive creations of “fools” and, therefore, were short-lived. These drawings are made in a naif style and may be classified as art brut, a term coined by Dubuffet in 1945.
Art and mental illness, psychiatric art in Spain, Murcia psychiatric hospital, psychiatric graffiti, Román Alberca Lorente, Gonzalo Rodríguez Lafora
Neurosciences and History 2021;9(3):119-127
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