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Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye Paperback – Deluxe Edition, November 8, 2004


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Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye + Visual Thinking + The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 518 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Fiftieth Anniversary Printing edition (November 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520243838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520243835
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In The Ego and the Id Freud argued that a cogent thought process, to say nothing of conscious intellectual work, could not exist amidst the unruliness of visual experience. Over the last half century in a sequence of landmark books, Rudolf Arnheim has not only shown us how wrong that is, he has parsed the grammar of form with uncanny acuity and taught us how to read it." - Jonathan Fineburg, author of Art since 1940: Strategies of Being"

From the Inside Flap

"In The Ego and the Id Freud argued that a cogent thought process, to say nothing of conscious intellectual work, could not exist amidst the unruliness of visual experience. Over the last half century in a sequence of landmark books, Rudolf Arnheim has not only shown us how wrong that is, he has parsed the grammar of form with uncanny acuity and taught us how to read it."—Jonathan Fineberg, author of Art since 1940: Strategies of Being

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Customer Reviews

As an artist, I find this book a must read.
Mike Grant
This is a truly seminal work on "seeing" and composing artistic images.
C. J. Clavadetscher
This book is about the relation between psychology and art.
Steven Lehar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lehar on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rudolf Arnheim is one of those rare and exceptional thinkers gifted in both the arts and science, in this case the science of psychology. This book is about the relation between psychology and art. Its value will be immediately recognized by artists, as well as by those who are interested in how the mind makes sense of the visual world. But the most interesting and valuable aspect of this book is its implications for psychology. The Gestalt theory on which Arnheim's approach is based is a minority view in contemporary psychology, but it is a theoretical viewpoint that is destined for a renaissance. For Gestalt theory recognizes the holistic, emergent aspects of perception, which are so difficult to account for in terms of contemporary neuroscience, but are so clearly evident in the laws of artistic composition. Although this book was originally published in 1954, I believe it is only a matter of time before it receives the recognition it deserves as an invaluable contribution to psychology, as soon as psychology has the wisdom to recognize it as such.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Devrim PINAR on March 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you want to learn why the things are seen in the way they are seen or want to control the look of your objects to build up as a concrete whole, wheter in a motion picture, a paint, a photograph, architecture, sculpture, a graphical design piece, or more strictly speaking, if you ever asked yourself what is a line, what makes a triangle more interesting than a square, why my piece of design looks unstable, and start to think that you are going mad :) this is the decisive beginning for understanding visual communication... Must be bought together with "The Power of the Center" for a complete look... Basics of geometry, psychology, philosophy and history of art are required...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mike Grant on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
As an artist, I find this book a must read. It's difficult, but essential.

It was pivotal in opening my mind to a multifaceted way of looking at visual organization, composition, and development. I also gained a strong vocabulary for talking and thinking about paintings from any chosen era- an invaluable skill for anyone who falls in love with a particular painting but doesn't know why or how to explain it to others. In the way that The Painter's Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art developed my appreciate for the classics, this book helped me understand Modern art.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lehar on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rudolf Arnheim is one of those rare and exceptional thinkers gifted in both the arts and science, in this case the science of psychology. This book is about the relation between psychology and art. Its value will be immediately recognized by artists, as well as by those who are interested in how the mind makes sense of the visual world. But the most interesting and valuable aspect of this book is its implications for psychology. The Gestalt theory on which Arnheim's approach is based is a minority view in contemporary psychology, but it is a theoretical viewpoint that is destined for a renaissance. For Gestalt theory recognizes the holistic, emergent aspects of perception, which are so difficult to account for in terms of contemporary neuroscience, but are so clearly evident in the laws of artistic composition. Although this book was originally published in 1954, I believe it is only a matter of time before it receives the recognition it deserves as an invaluable contribution to psychology, as soon as psychology has the wisdom to recognize it as such.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marc Anselmo on October 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was purchased as a text for school- I don't believe I would be inclined to pick this one off the shelves and purchase it on my own for pleasure after some perusing. Arnheim has revised this text over the years, and this final version (according to him in the preface) is much more comprehensive. I would say that is a classic understatement by him. His style reminds me more of undergraduate psychology texts I had read. Dense, not a lot of pictures, and a lot of philosophical concepts on the nature of art. However, like all things, rewarding in the depth available in the text. Just don't try to digest it all at once, and don't be distracted. If you are, you'll find yourself reading passages over again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Ang on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
It articulates the way we look at art both obvious and non-obvious. Related to optical illusions and our vision. Good book for both artists and non-artists to analyse why we see things the way we do without going too much into the neurological part of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T.Mokhtar on March 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a treasure for all artists, and architects.It is a good book with many illustrations and analysis. If You need to know how to deal with forms, shapes, and their parameters as a professional, this is the right book to buy. Sometimes I think that it is too late to read again about form,but Arnhiem's book is not only about form perception it is about life experience in how to read things in scientific and detailed approach.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Clavadetscher on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arnheim's book on the creative eye has survived well over half a century, for a reason. This is a truly seminal work on "seeing" and composing artistic images. He deals primarily with painting. I am a photographer. This book means as much to the current photographer with digital camera as to the artist with easel canvas and brush. Fascinating reading illustrated with classic examples. Re-shapes the mind. I bought copies for all of my friends who are, like me, serious shooters.
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