The art of the confined began to be studied by psychiatrists in the late 19th century for diagnostic purposes, while the first studies of aesthetic interest were found in the first decades of the 20th century, when psychiatrists as the Swiss W. Morgenthaler and the Austrian H. Prinzhorn published studies on mentally ill artworks, having mainly aesthetic approach. The artworks of the mentally ill belong to the field of Art found in the international literature by the term of Art Brut. The term "Brut" was introduced in 1945 by J. Dubuffet to describe the production of art by authors who were not taught academic art, did not belong to any artistic movement and were indifferent to a potential identification with the viewer or the collector. This French painter and sculptor named Art Brut the founded movement, whose main field was the works of mental patients. Dubuffet was particularly affected, in terms of artistic expression, like so many other creators of expressionism and surrealism, by the art of the mentally ill. Regarding the Greek scene, the relationship between our country and this category of Art began in 1950, at the Psychiatric Hospital of Attica "Dromokaitio", when Professor G. Pampoukis and Dr N. Drakoulidis sent patients’ works to the Exposition Internationale d' Art Psychopathologique ( International Exhibition of Psychopathological Art) held in Paris that year. By the late 1980’s, only occupational therapy projects existed. The first major artist appearance with a mental disorder is that of O.K. with his participation in the 2nd Biennale of Young Artists of the Mediterranean, in 1987. The year 1994 was a very important one in terms of art production of the mentally ill, as the Cultural Communication Unit (CCU) of the Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki (P.H.T.) was founded, which aim was to produce original works that recorded the psychic reality of the patients and did not recreate other artists’ projects. Regarding the promotion of this art, of great significance are the three Panhellenic Exhibitions held in 1996, 1997 and 2001, the last under the auspices of the Greek Psychiatric Association, which brought together the patient-artists' projects of various institutions of our country with the general public, receiving very positive feedback from both the press and the critics. Worth mentioning is also the honorary discrimination of two patient-artists who cooperated with the CCU, D.Z. and A.V., in EUWARD 2004 and 2007 of the German Foundation Augustinum, and also of G.M., who was awarded the first prize at the competition of “Very Special Art” in USA. Two other important moments of the effort of projecting the relationship between Art and Psychiatry were first in 2004 with the exhibition On The Other Bank, as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and the other in 2005 at the Christian and Byzantine Museum of Athens, where the exhibition Art against Stigma, organized by the World Psychiatric Association, the Greek Psychiatric Association and a privately held pharmaceutical company took place. Finally in 2011, again under the auspices of the Greek Psychiatric Association, works of the famous Prinzhorn Collection were exhibited both in Athens and Thessaloniki. In this way the public, once again, came into contact with works in which fears, insecurities and demons within the soul of every patientartist were imprinted, these projects serving not only as clinical evidence but also as creations of unquestionable artistic value.
Key words: Art, psychiatry, exhibitions, mentally ill, artistic expression.
E. Rossiou, A. Orologas (page 349)