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"The pictures I contemplate painting would constitute a halfway state
and an attempt to point out the direction of the future-- without
arriving there completely."
Jackson Pollock



As a child in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, in the
early seventies, Ian Terreer exhibited very extreme mood
swings, often resulting in periods of catatonia. His
father, a wealthy Dutch expatriate art collector, and his
mother, a high school English teacher, sought out the
best possible help for their child, who in his periods of
lucidity had shown moments of brilliance well beyond his
years. After nearly a decade and numerous forms of
treatment, Ian experienced a breakthrough at the Health
Research Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Using a type of
therapy employing the paintings in the Art Institute of
Chicago, Ian's doctors were able to cure him of his
periods of silence. Whenever Ian felt himself
overwhelmed by his moods, he would study his favourite
pieces and discuss aloud how they made him feel. This
seemed to keep his attacks at bay.


This technique worked for some time; Ian finished
high school, moved to Chicago permanently to attend Art
school at the University of Chicago, graduated with
honours and worked part time at the Art Institute as a
tour guide. During this time, he focused most of his
therapy on the abstract work of Jackson Pollock and
Willem deKooning, spending as much as eight hours at a
time standing in front of deKooning's 1950 masterpiece,
Excavation, whispering to himself. This interest in the
Dutch artist pleased Ian's father, as he had studied his
paintings in Holland before moving to North America and
meeting his wife.


On January 9, 1997, however, shortly before
deKooning's death and a day before Ian's 30th birthday,
his father received a phone call from Ian, requesting
that he meet him at the artist's exhibit early the next
day to discuss an urgent matter concerning his therapy.
The elder Terreer man arrived at the exhibit at noon the
next day and waited in vain for his son for nearly three
hours. He returned home that evening and tried
contacting his son, but to no avail. Two days later, a
Sunday, the Chicago Police Department pronounced Ian
Terreer officially missing after finding his car deserted
in the parking lot of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ten
months later, Ian's father broke down in tears and rants
of "those are his eyes, those are his teeth," upon seeing
Excavation at the deKooning Memorial Exhibit. He was
placed into permanent care at the institute where his son
had once received treatment. Nobody at the exhibit gave
much credence to the rantings of the man, assuming his
mourning for deKooning had overwhelmed his artistic
knowledge and his better judgement.

------
"No, the was no way out and no one can imagine what the evenings in prisons are like"
Camus, from L'étranger



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The following comments are for "Arriving There Completely"
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