Mind and Mood in Modern art, II: Depressive Disorders, Spirituality, and Early Deaths in the Abstract Expressionist Artists of the New York School
Schildkraut J J~~Hirshfeld A J~~et al
The high prevalence of mood disorders in a group of 15 mid-20th century artists of the New York School is documented. 2 committed suicide; 2 died in single-vehicle accidents while driving; & 2 others had fathers who killed themselves. A hypothesis is presented: depression inevitably leads to a turning inward & to a reexamination of the purpose of living & the possibility of dying. Depression may have put these artists in touch with the mystery that lies at the heart of abstract expression.