"...With the decline of radical, political feminism the importance of hysteria issues decreased, but in art and literature it still lives on as a contemporary construction made out of inherited ideas and imagery: femininity, feminism, psychic disorder...
Stein produces an abundance of paintings and especially drawings that have a particular feminine iconography in common.
By tradition hysteria is related to women and thus, thanks to the overall feminine
subject matter and Steinís own characterization, we are prompted to recall some of the
symptoms that were traditionally assigned to the diagnosis, such as impressionable psyche, excessive excitability of imagination, tendency to fabricate stories, theatricality, etcetera.
Furthermore, thanks to the early work of Freud, the kind of free association and the genital play at work in the painting can easily be recognized as signs of the suppressed unconsciousness and sexuality that was seen as the main cause for the psychic disorder.
Thatís to say, as long as were talking from a perspective of the time around 1900, when hysteria was a real fashion disease...."