Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
--This text refers to an alternate
From the Inside Flap
What would the world be without color? A dull, joyless melange of shapes without vital meaning. "Color is life, for a world without color seems dead. As a flame produces light, light produces color. As intonation lends color to the spoken word, color lends spiritually realized sound to form." - Johannes Itten. Over the years numerous color theories have been published: Goethe's theory of color is as famous as Ostwald's color cirlce. Adolf Holzel exercised an important influence on modern art with his theory of color. Now with his ART OF COLOR Johannes Itten makes a contribution. Using Holzel's theory as a springboard, Itten has expanded and developed it along his own original lines. Although never published before, the Itten theory already underlies progressive art education all over the world. In this book Itten examines two different approaches to understanding the art of color. Subjective feelings and objective color principles are the two poles which are described in detail and clarified with numerous color reproductions. The key to this knowledge lies in the color circle and the seven color contrasts which are found on pages 35-109. The problems of visual, emotional and symbolic color effects are carefully explored with numerous color illustrations. The systematic color exercises are followed by outstanding reproductions of paintings by the great masters - 28 large size, four-color plates - which offer insight into all the epochs of Western painting from the early Middle Ages to Klee and Picasso. With each reproduction is one of Professor Itten's famous analyses which proves how conscious awareness and use of color contrast has been an important means of expression. In the chapter, THEORY OF COLOR EXPRESSION (page 130), the psychic and emotional values expressed by color are examined and explained. This gives an extraordinary approach to the understanding of expressionistic painting. Another important chapter, COMPOSITION (page 144), contains the goal of the whole theory of color for the creative artist. It also represents the crowning point of the book for the viewer of art. According to Itten composition implies brining two or more colors together in such a way that they harmonize to give an expression unambiguous and full of character. When preparing the first printing of THE ART OF COLOR in 1960, author and publisher were faced with the problem of finding the most favorable method of producing the difficult color reproductions. It could only be done by producing the various color plates by entirely different printing processes, which had to be done by several printers, and then tipping them into the book.
When a reprinting was planned in 1973, it had by then become possible to make use of the advanced technical developments in offset printing, and the entire book was produced by this printing process. Altogether great care was taken to preserve the excellence of the original edition, Contents and order of pages were retained, some of the illustrations were enlarged and veracity was improved as far as the existing material allowed. Our aim for this new printing was to once again make available in its best form Johannes Itten's color course, while at the same time strictly adhering to his principles of presentation.