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Chromophobia (Focus on Contemporary Issues)

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Chromophobia (Focus on Contemporary Issues) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chromophobia-a fear of corruption or contamination through color-has been a cultural phenomenon since ancient Greek times; this book is concerned with its modern and contemporary manifestations, as well as with resistance to it in art. The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse lurks within Western culture. It is apparent in the many attempts to marginalize color, either by making it the product 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-which in many cases amounts to the same thing. Color has also been marginalized in critical discourse. Writers who have discussed color and culture have tended to look no further than the end of the nineteenth century; philosophers who have analyzed color and its suppression in the twentieth century have tended to be fragmentary in their treatment. Critical discussion of Pop, Minimal and Conceptual art has systematically avoided color; critics often ignore or deny its presence and meaning. In this highly original study, David Batchelor seeks to analyze the motivations behind chromophobia, considering the work of writers and philosophers who have used color as a significant motif, and offering new interpretations of familiar texts and works of art.

David Batchelor is Senior Tutor in Critical Studies at the Royal College of Art, London. He is the author of Minimalism (1997)

Table of Contents:

Whitescapes

Chromophobia

Apocalypstick

Hanunoo

Chromophilia

References

Select Bibliography and Filmography

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

David Batchelor is Senior Tutor in Critical Theory at the Royal College of Art, London. He is also the author of Minimalism (1997).

Table of Contents

1. Whitescapes2. Chromophobia3. Apocalypstick4. Hanunoo5. ChromophiliaReferencesSelect Bibliography and FilmographyList of Illustrations Acknowledgements

CITATION:

"A theoretical and cultural banquet. . . . The book's narrative quality goes beyond the telling of color theory's history and other approaches to color, coming to read like a psychological thriller: how the West crushed color-or at least thought it did so."

(New Art Examiner)

CITATION:

"Batchelor has found an irresistible selection of anecdotes and quotes relating to the experience of color. . . .  Thoughtful and entertaining."

(Tema Celeste)

CITATION:

"Switching from novels and movies to art and architecture, Batchelor clearly and cleverly traces the cultural implications of the 100 year-plus Colour War between Chromophobes like Le Corbusier, with their hosannas to whiteness, and Chromophiliacs like Warhol, the great artist of cosmetics. A succinct book of art theory which goes down smoothly."

(i-D magazine)

CITATION:

"This beautifully produced book is an intelligent and provocative essay on why Western culture hates and fears colour. The prose is cumulative and passionate in its effect and widely referential-from Barthes to Melville, Wim Wenders to Huysmans. . . . You cannot fail to be stimulated by his thoughts"

(RA (Royal Academy Magazine))

CITATION:

"A provocative contribution to the discourse of color theory."

(James Meyer, Artforum)

CITATION:

"A hugely entertaining guide to our ongoing obsession with white."

(Time Out)

CITATION:

"Full of good writing, good anecdotes, devastating quotes, deft arguments, and just the sort of mysterious anomalies one would expect from an artist writing about the enemies of his practice."

(Dave Hickey, Bookforum)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781861890740
Author:
Batchelor, David
Publisher:
Reaktion Books
Location:
London
Subject:
Individual Artist
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Color
Subject:
Color in art
Subject:
Criticism - General
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Color Theory
Subject:
Criticism -- Theory.
Subject:
Art-Color Theory
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Reaktion Books - Focus on Contemporary Issues
Series Volume:
5
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 color plates
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.75 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Color Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Color and Perspective
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Education » Multicultural

Chromophobia (Focus on Contemporary Issues) New Trade Paper
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Product details 128 pages Reaktion Books - English 9781861890740 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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