Eros and Logos: Between Reason and Pleasure

Eros and Logos

Between Reason and Pleasure

 FINE ARTS | Final Student Exhibit

Florence University of the Arts – The American University of Florence (FUA-AUF) will open online, on ganzoflorence.it, the Fine Arts final Spring 2020 Semester student exhibit Eros and Logos: Between Reason and Pleasure. The exhibit will inaugurate on Wednesday May 13, 2020.

Eros and logos are concepts created by Carl Jung’s writings on analytical psychology.

The terms originated from classical Greek mythology – Eros is defined as impulses and desires that circle around love. Logos is defined as “a universal divine reason, immanent in nature, yet transcending all oppositions and imperfections in humanity.” Jung considers logos to be a masculine principle and eros a feminine principle, they are each other’s counterpart. This exhibit demonstrates this difference between the hard and the soft, or the differences between reason and pleasure.

Brooke Blanchette, an artist in the upcoming exhibition, describes the relation in eros/logos to her submission as “The contrast between the light and dark that allows the person to be the main focus of the composition. Emphasizing the facial expression, the composition displays a cheerful woman who has blocked out all the negativity in order to find herself. The use of black and white also represents the ego, which is part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious while also being responsible for testing reality and a sense of personal identity.”

The artworks represent watercolor, portraits made through fine arts and graphic techniques, drawings, paintings, and mixed media. The medias utilized highlight the many talents of the students of Watercolor and Tempera/Gouache Techniques, Art Therapy, Foundation Painting, Advanced Painting, Words Painting and Emotions, Intermediate Drawing, and Introduction to Mixed Media courses of the Spring 2020 academic season.

ADVANCED PAINTING

Advanced Level

ADVANCED PAINTING

Students: Anel Tulegenova | Lydia Aveson

At the origins of the philosophical thinking, Logos and Eros were not conflicting, they complemented each other instead, assisting the philosopher in his search for truth.

According to Socrates and his pupil Plato, logos provides one way to reach the metaphysical truth (an electively negative philosophical way, though, which states what truth “is not”). The other way is falling in love with beauty – of a body, of an artwork, of an idea –, which acts on the positive side: Eros is not love for beauty, it is love for generating in beauty (Plato, Symp., 206e-207a).

Eros is therefore the daimon of artists.

In Plato’s Symposion, Socrates states that all artists (in ancient Greek, poietai) are intermediaries between the gods and us, the same way as the daimon Eros is the great intermediary: Eros who inspires love, the divine feeling, in us.

Like Eros, artists are poor creatures who feel in perpetual need and spend life in search for something that will be always missing. But, much like Eros, artists are skilled and inspired to enchant us through their creations (poiemata). Poietai fly back and forth from the honey sources of the Muses, from their gardens and forests, where they find inspiration to do art, and their inspired art translates the metaphysical truth for us the public (Plato, Ion, 534a-b).  Through this complementarity of Logos and Eros we have traveled this semesters with students in the Foundation Drawing course, Advanced Painting, Art Therapy, and Words, Painting and Emotion course.

Building up skills (logos) and leaving space to inspiration (eros), filling up sketchbooks with notes and exercises (logos) as well as jumping into the unknown of emotions and inspirations (eros).

Students in the Words, Painting and Emotion course explored their own relationship to art: both to the part of it that they were learning through study and practice, as well as to that subtle uncatchable element that could turn their use of skills into art. Through both guided and free painting students in the Art Therapy course have been experiencing art as a way to enjoy life and to help coping with difficult times: the quarantine has been for them an exceptional case study.

Advanced Painting students combined different painting styles and technical skills to convey a visual research about the psychology of love. And students in the Foundation Drawing course studied in depth the traditional genre of still life, ruled by ethic symbolisms and spiritual allegories, in order to twist it into narrating a contemporary story about love and its excitements, delusions, expectations, and betrayals. Through well thought out arrangements of everyday objects alluding to a “Breakfast for two”, students have been able to speak of love in the silent language of the most intellectual and logic of the art techniques: drawing.

Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Watercolor and Tempera-Gouache Technique

Intermediate Level

Watercolor and Tempera-Gouache Technique

Maeve Fittz

Instructor: Andrea Mancini

Intermediate Drawing

Intermediate Level

Intermediate Drawing

Students: Floor Bosman | Emma Wawrzynek

This semester, Intermediate Painting & Drawing students read from Rollo May’s The Courage to Create, where he proposes that the true creative act as possible not just in the art of making an image, but also in building an intimate relationship. Students have learned about and practiced May’s principles that courage and struggle are required in all true creativity, along with full engagement, or what he calls intensity of encounter.  So, too, is a dynamic between two tensions: the Dionysian – the emotional pull of  ecstatic union, the flow of emotion/inspiration in creation, and on the other hand, the Apollonian – the need to stop, think, step back, asses, and recalibrate.

Instructor: Andi Nufer

Foundation Painting

Beginner Level

Foundation Painting

Student: Tara Foley

These student artists have been exploring this balance and continually-looping pathway between learning to trust and claim the intelligences of Eros in transcending even language, mere logic, or linear thinking to open up to their supra-rational and intuitive, analogical, synthetic capacities, and then, alternately, learning to step back — physically as well as metaphorically — to Logos’ critique, measurement, and articulating in words and reasoning their creative process. The results are these images of self, whether depicted exclusively through surrogate objects, or in a synthesis of symbolic and fantastical twists on the figure, or in the self of a beloved family member rendered in distractedly doodle-like portraits that belie their commitment to precious commemoration.

Instructor: Andi Nufer

Art Therapy

Beginner Level

Art Theraphy

Jessica Orofino/ Isabel Kaufmann/Tara Foley/Cayley Downey/Kylie Festen/Ashley Goldstein

Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Foundation Drawing

Beginner Level

Foundation Drawing

Ashley Frank | Carrie Neville

Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Words Painting and Emotions

Beginner Level

Words Painting and Emotions

Madeleine Wick/ Gabrielle Biseinere / Erin Obermayer/ Olivia Howley

Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Introduction to Mixed Media

Beginner Level

Introduction to Mixed Media

Approaching art by exploring the different means of expression is a task that involves the rational aspect in the phase of understanding materials and techniques, but it is equally important for the student to finalize the research towards a creative goal. For this reason, one could say poetically that creativity is a compromise between logic and heart and that this encounter can be stimulated by an unusual use of materials which can also be very simple and common. For example, gypsum, cardboard, salt, paper or sand can give us, when correctly combined, results rich in tactile quality. Often it is the same materials that suggest a methodology: modeling, printing, gluing, doodling. Through experimentation sometimes not only do we create very original and beautiful images from an aesthetic point of view, but we are able to “see” and better understand the technical and expressive characteristics of the works created by the artists.

Instructor: Paride Moretti

Students: Jillian Curd | Brooke Blanchette

Acknoledgemnts/Ringraziamenti

Acknoledgemnts/Ringraziamenti

EXHIBITORS

Advanced Painting
Anel Tulegenova, Lydia Aveson
Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Art Therapy
Tara Foley, Isabel Kaufmann, Jessica Orofino, Kylie Festen, Ashley Goldstein

Art Therapy Service Learning
Caylyn Downey
Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Foundation Drawing
Ashley Frank, Carrie Neville
Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

Intermediate Drawing
Floor Bosman, Emma Wawrzynek
Instructor: Andi Nufer

Introduction to Mixed Media
Jillian Curd, Brooke Blanchette
Instructor: Paride Moretti

Watercolor and Tempera-Gouache Technique
Maeve Fittz
Instructor: Andrea Mancini

Words, Painting, and Emotions: The Mind Map of Creativity
Madeleine Wick, Gabrielle Biseinere, Erin Obermayer, Olivia Howley

Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon

CATALOG AND EXHIBIT CURATION

Gallery Exhibition and Curating: Maggie Bolinger, Andrea Brito Rosado, Sydney Casley, Madeleine Fancher, Grace Fanning, Sabrina Grassi, Olivia Griffin, Healey Junker, Lauren Meoli, Natalie Petras, Rebecca Sturm, Madeleine Wick, Seth Young

Gallery Exhibition and Curating + EL: Lydia Aveson, Gillian Byrnes, Berenice Cadet, Caleb England, Mariah Magee, Emalee Reijlian

Instructor: Andrea Mancini

SAS – FINE ARTS | FUA-AUF Florence University of the Arts – The American University of Florence