The Paintings of Peter Birkhäuser
With an Essay by Marie-Louise von Franz
Many of the dream images painted by Swiss artist Peter Birkhäuser (1911-76) portray the big problems of our time, as experienced one individual: our divisiveness, possession by unconscious factors, suffering from the loss of religious values, the “unknown God” knocking at the door and wanting to enter, our inability to understand evil, the world of the feminine yearning for redemption, and so on.
Because the paintings of Birkhäuser come from the deep wells of dreams and give them authentic form, they are mirrors of healing processes in the soul. Marie-Louise von Franz said of Birkhäuser’s work: “His paintings are not depictions of his own problems, but rather seek to reveal what is taking place in the depths of the collective unconscious in all of the people of our time. Because of this, they are not easy to decipher: they are simply there, and wish to be experienced”.
Peter Birkhäuser's paintings frequently give form to overwhelming contents from the collective unconscious whose sense only becomes apparent when seen in the context of the spiritual predicament of our times. Birkhäuser was uniquely sensitive to the subliminal issues of the age. His whole career demonstrated that his special calling as an artist was to dedicate his abilities to a greater creative spirit and use his art to reveal, not only the crisis and infirmity of our times, but more importantly the reactions and healing impulses of the autonomous psyche. His pictures act as mirrors of the soul, where things hidden within us and our age become visible. In the major themes of the paintings we can observe something resembling a collective process of individuation. This is religious art, a manifestation of an image of God originating in the unconscious, striving to become real as part of a new consciousness. The artist's own personal individuation process becomes a gestation in paintings that circumscribe the birth of a new myth.
This book is an attempt to track down the meanings of the mysteries in the work of Peter Birkhäuser. Included are 53 reproductions of paintings by the artist.
200 Seiten, gebunden