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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 ›
Batchelor contextualizes the history of chromophobia--fear of contamination through color--using his exhaustive knowledge of art theory, criticism and pop culture. He opens our eyes to the reality of "bright" color prejudice (after all, white is a color). The book begins in a "white room" environment, placing the reader into a bare-bones home of a modern collector filled with things but empty of color. "All the walls, ceilings, floors and fittings were white, all the furniture was black and all the works of art were grey" (11). This room represents the isolation from color that most of the Western world accepts; it is as if Batchelor believes us to be trapped by our own doing in a colorless bubble.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This highly philosophical treatise about color in life and art was wordy and difficult to understand. It was not what I expected.Published 3 months ago by rootdr
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 16 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 on March 30, 2014 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