Psychosis and the Sublime in American Art: Rothko and Smithson - Tate Research Repository
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Psychosis and the Sublime in American Art: Rothko and Smithson

2010

Abstract

This paper addresses the work of Mark Rothko (1903–1970) and Robert Smithson (1938–1973), and, referring to the philosopher Kant and psychoanalyst Lacan, discusses how the sublime can have a psychotic aspect. It argues that Kant’s categorical imperative, for all its attempts to exclude self-interest and the pathological aspects of the hypothetical imperative, establishes a frame not only for sublime aesthetic experience but also for psychotic delusion.

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