Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Heinrich Berann

Dear Herr Berann, 27 August 1960

Thank you very much for the samples you have sent me of your Paintings.

Although you may not know it, I find it very difficult, both as a psychologist and a human being, to establish any relationship with modern abstract art.

Since one’s feelings seem to be a highly unsuitable organ for judging this kind of art, one is forced to appeal to the intellect or to intuition in order to gain any access to it.

But even then most of the little signs and signals by which human beings relate to one another seem to be absent.

The reason for this, it seems to me, is that in those depths from which the statements of the modern artist come the individual factor plays so small a role that human communication is abolished.

” I remain I and you remain you”-the final expression of the alienation and incompatibility of individuals.

These strange messages are well suited to our time, marked as it is by mass-mindedness and the extinction of the individual.

In this respect our art has an important role to play: it compensates a vital deficiency and anticipates the illimitable loneliness of man.

The question that forces itself upon me when contemplating a modem picture is always the same: what can’t it express?

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 585-586.