Requires Photography

Necessity 8 (Schreber)

Peter Sacks (South African, born in 1950, active in France and United States)


76 3/4 x 153 1/2 inches total

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mixed media

Not On View


Contemporary Art




Through his paintings, Sacks—a highly accomplished poet—describes the “liminal figures stranded at the threshold of visibility.” In Necessity 8, he types on fabric fragments texts by Daniel Paul Schreber, whose Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903) recorded Schreber’s fear of his own self vanishing, of being replaced. Documenting his divine revelations and delusional world while he was committed to a psychiatric hospital, his words quickly became iconic for students of psychology, fascinating Sigmund Freud, among others. Here, Sacks realizes the words as a portrait of searching for the self in the face of despair or disappearance—and celebrating presence.


The artist, with Paul Rodgers Gallery: New York, NY; sold to museum June 2010 (Accession date: June 16, 2010)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Timothy Phillips