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Chromophobia (Focus on Contemporary Issues)
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Top Customer Reviews
That discussions of color as secondary to drawing (or design) are neither prevelant in the industry nor in academia proves how engrained into art theory the secondary status of color is. Also of interest is the chapter on the role of semantics and color interpetation. How for example some colors in the abstract such as green-yellows are univerally more difficult to convey than others.
Every serious artist should read this book to reintroduce the importance of color to his/her concerns and to adress contemporary concerns over the loss of color by its oversaturation in less artistic settings.
Batchelor is highly literate and informed, plus has an impressive knowledge of contemporary art. His suggestion that color tends to be seen as frivolous/minor/feminine/or even evil is backed up with wide-ranging references to culture (contemporary and earlier), art history, lit., and more. (Including an unexpectedly timely observation that historically, evidence of the decadence of Islam included its profusion of color and pattern.)
Just a few other examples:
--the white space as sign of seriousness and quality in the modern gallery or collector's home
--the art historical ranking of disegno as superior to colore
--in French lit, the symbolic association of rich hues and precious materials with decadence
And much more.
As for me, I almost had to buy this book for its hot pink cover alone
Anyone with a theoretical interest in aesthetics will find this book packed with gems begging to be peeked at.
A quirky and compelling read. And short too (+).
Batchelor is well read and clearly knowledgeable about the topic of color, pulling examples from across literate, philosophy, and popular culture, in addition to art, to illustrate his point. He glides seamlessly from discussing the long-held artistic tradition that values line over color (line is rational, color emotional, chaotic) to commenting on the relationship of narcotics to the intensification of color. While color in this scenario can be blissful and beautiful, it is nonetheless the cause of a Fall from grace, reality, nature...however one may look at it.
Color is the cause of corruption, but there is no way around it. "We are color ourselves," Batchelor gleefully states. This, of course, doesn't stop the attempt of those who fear color to control it. Newton, while not necessarily a chromophobe, designed the color wheel, systematically creating a hierarchy of color that would become the very bases of Western color theory.Read more ›
The word "Chromophobia" is of Greek origin: chromo meaning color and phobia fear. Batchelor gives various examples of critical positions about color in art. He writes: The "loathing of color, this fear of corruption through color, needs a name: chromophobia" (22). He also demonstrates the long tradition of skeptical positions concerning color. Aristotle distinguished between color and line in favor of the latter. With this distinction he started a hierarchical order within different fields of art (29). Later theories were put forward for example in 18th century France where Batchelor mentions Charles Blanc's distinction between painting and engraving (24). Some representatives of color theories in the 20th century are Le Corbusier and Theo van Doesburg whose ideal architecture was dominated by white and not by colorful elements (46).
Batchelor aims to get the reader acquainted with a broad spectrum of positions concerning color. Therefore he uses a lot of examples found in interdisciplinary fields like fine arts, architecture, film, literature, philosophy, linguistics but also pop culture. A literary example can be found early in the beginning of the text when Batchelor quotes a description of white in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick or The Whale" (11).
The 'apocalyptic' and 'dangerous' component of color is demonstrated, among other things, through cosmetic color. Batchelor mentions Andy Warhol's colorful prints of Marilyn Monroe, shown with a lot of make-up, in which color and line are dependent of each other (61).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is convoluted, Eurocentric and classist. There are spots of good material throughout the book but overall the language of the book is offensive. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Angela Bentle
read this for class it was ok buy it if you want to i dont want to tell you how to livePublished 22 months ago by Julia Grimes
A short interesting good quality academic piece by a man who knows his subject. I recommend it to anyone thoughtful about the use of colour in art and design.Published on January 30, 2014 by Eric A. Foster
Important text for my Color Strategies course that I will be teaching in the fall. Students will be required to read from this text.Published on June 18, 2013 by Marilyn Propp
I bought and paid for the product... isn't that enough? And then they want ten more words... corporate pests. Oink.Published on May 12, 2013 by A. Ranieri