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Zeuler R.M. de A. Lima
Princeton University Press in association with the Fundació Joan Miró
Zeuler R.M. de A. Lima is an educator, scholar, architect, artist, curator, writer, and above all a humanist. He received his professional and doctoral education at the University of São Paulo School of Architecture and Urbanism and post-doctoral education in Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Lima is author of the acclaimed biography Lina Bo Bardi (Yale University Press, 2013) and publications in international books, exhibition catalogues, and journals. He has held teaching and research appointments at the University of São Paulo, Ecole d'Architecture de Grenoble, Columbia University, University of Michigan, Tokyo Hosei Daigaku, and Washington University (St. Louis and Florence). He is a curator of architecture exhibitions, including the show “Drawn by Hand: Architecture according to Lina Bo Bardi” at the Fondació Joan Miró Barcelona, produced in tandem with the book Lina Bo Bardi, Drawings (Princeton University Press, 2019). Lima develops work in drawing, artist's books, and conceptual art, including the current exhibition “Found in Translation” (Tokyo, Spring 2018; St. Louis, Winter 2019).
French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty sees painter Paul Cézanne’s struggles with the meaning of his creative activity as a fertile example of his philosophical critique of rational reason. By investigating Cézanne’s return to nature as a way of reconceiving painting not as an impressionist technique, but the representation of his immediate relationship to the world, Merleau-Ponty substantiates his claim of the primacy of perception in our attribution of meaning to reality. In doubt, Cézanne’s lends his perceptual body, not just his vision or mind, to the continued process of recreating artistic expression. To Merleau-Ponty, life and artistic work are not allied in a causal relationship, but they coexist in the ambiguous symbolic process of being in the world.
Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector presents the existential challenges faced by her fictional character G.H., a wealthy sculptress in a solitary mid-life crisis. The first-person narrative by G.H. develops as a poignant and disturbing stream of consciousness with auto-biographical and philosophical overtones. Surprised by a Kafkian-like cockroach as she immerses into the mysteries of a little visited den in her penthouse, G.H. is invited to reconsider her passions—her love and pathos. Literature and experience, creative work and life are mutually implied in the vortex of grief leading into transfiguration and emancipation. With a destabilizing use of the Portuguese language that is particular to her writing, Lispector speaks at the same time about literature, the creative process, and the human condition.
American psychoanalyst Susan Kavaler-Adler investigates the relationship between the intense creative activity and the difficult internal lives of artists, focusing on the work and life of six prominent English-language women writers and poetesses. Based on the psychoanalytic framework of object-relations theory developed by Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Margareth Mahler, and Ronald Fairbairn, she evaluates the dilemma of mistakenly embracing creativity as a means for psychological mourning and development. She explores the role played by inadequate parenting in the early establishment of what she describes as a compulsion to create, implying an addictive and defensive emotional process. Without dismissing the quality of such creations, Kavaler-Adler reveals complex unconscious motivations in their realization. As she sheds light in the shadow of artistic work, she sustains that the engagement between creative and therapeutic processes may lead into the discovery of artistic authenticity.