The argument is anchored by, though not limited to, a consideration of color in the discourse of aesthetics and art history. Generations of cultural producers, art theorists, and philosophers, claims Batchelor, have treated color as an object of fear and loathing, as an alien invader within the cultural organism. The book opens with an illustrative anecdote. The interior is a minimalist showplace: architecturally austere, purged of homely things, tightly sealed off from the outside, and totally drained of color.
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Chromophobia by David Batchelor traces the attitude in Western philosophy and aesthetics from Aristotle to contemporary art toward color, which he characterizes as one of extreme prejudice A good, smart take on a pretty fusty subject. Really races along with great connections made between different art and cultural forms. Definitely comes from that postmodern school of a broad David Batchelor. The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse - a fear of corruption or contamination through color - lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought.
This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some "foreign body" - the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological - or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic.
Chromophobia has been a cultural phenomenon since ancient Greek times; this book is concerned with forms of resistance to it. Writers have tended to look no further than the end of the nineteenth century. David Batchelor seeks to go beyond the limits of earlier studies, analyzing the motivations behind chromophobia and considering the work of writers and artists who have been prepared to look at color as a positive value.
Exploring a wide range of imagery including Melville's "great white whale", Huxley's reflections on mescaline, and Le Corbusier's "journey to the East", Batchelor also discusses the use of color in Pop, Minimal, and more recent art.
Select Bibliography and Filmography. List of Illustrations. Andrew Sears , Julie A. He is also the author of Minimalism
Chromophobia by David Batchelor traces the attitude in Western philosophy and aesthetics from Aristotle to contemporary art toward color, which he characterizes as one of extreme prejudice A good, smart take on a pretty fusty subject. Really races along with great connections made between different art and cultural forms. Definitely comes from that postmodern school of a broad
I remember reading this book as an assignment in Color Theory, and found it to be the most interesting thing I did in that entire course. I think we can all tie some memory of youth and the bright colors that are everywhere growing up every overly-saturated Saturday morning cartoon or kindergarten class blanketed with primary colors and compare it to the colorless adulthood which we become accustomed to as we grow up. Western culture's disregard of color as immature and primitive have even seeped into other cultures and it is becoming more and more apparent in their contemporary decorating and architecture. Overall, you really covered Batchelor's book and his research of the origins of our fear of color quite well. White is used in galleries and museums as a neutral backdrop for displaying art as to not influence the colors present within the art displayed.