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Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music, and Psychology Paperback – February 15, 1995

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The subtitle clearly delineates the subject matter of this important book on the subjectivity of color sense and theories thereof, from the late 19th century to the present . . . [Riley] stresses the relatively independent development of color ideas among the theorists chosen, speaking of interrelations usually only where they have some historical or conceptual validity; and he does so in a clear, intelligible style." —Choice

From the Publisher

6 x 9 trim. 8 color illus. LC 94-9733
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: UPNE; n Second printing edition (February 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874517427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874517422
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

This excellently researched, enlightening book by Riley offers a useful overview of chromatic developments in a number of fields (the person who called this book "cream puffs" misses the point completely). The book offers numerous examples of innovations and commentary on various artists (pictorial and literary) and their colorific tendencies. Connections to theory--from Derrida to Barthes--accompany many of the book's observations. As there is little serious critical work on color, Riley's book offers a useful stepping stone to further research. I would strongly suggest this work to anyone interested in color theory and approach. Riley is a lucid, engaging writer who has made a major contribution to color theory.
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Color Codes by Charles A. Riley II is an extraordinary example of inter-disciplinary thought, examining the fascinating topic of color through short essays on Modern and contemporary artists, architects, poets, novelists, psychologists, philosophers, composers and musical performers. Much of the most lively material in the book comes from direct encounters with artists in their studios and interviews. A passionate, ambitious book on a wonderful subject.
Claudine Napoli
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By A Customer on October 16, 1998
Reading this book was like being served up a meal of cream puffs -- impressive at first glance, but ultimately unsatisfying due to lack of substance. Like many books that attempt to present the reader with a cafeteria-style synopsis of a subject (a bit of this, a bit of that...) this work is a disappointingly superficial survey of a most difficult and elusive subject. I think John Ruskin said it best: "A great many people do not know green from red; and such kind of persons are apt to feel it their duty to write scientific treatises on color, edifying to the art-world..."
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