Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music, and Psychology
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"The first thing to realize about the study of color in our time is its uncanny ability to evade all attempts to systematically codify it," writes Charles A. Riley in this series of interconnected essays on the uses and meanings of color.
the prismatic division of colors is by drawing a contrast between adjacent hues, which is Hollander's strategy with gold and yellow. Whereas gold is false, sterile, and cold, yellow is the genuine "precious" source of the gleaming. It is as fruitful as ripened grain and as bright as "gold afire in the yellow candles' flame." This harvest yellow is both "promise and fulfillment." It has been "eternized, for a moment" in a Keatsian state of natural perfection. The final lines of the section are the
I said, Der Gelbe Klang pleases me extraordinarily. It is exactly the same as what I have striven for in my Glückliche Hand, only you go still further than I in the renunciation of any conscious thought, any conventional plot. That is naturally a great advantage. We must become conscious that there are puzzles around us. And we must find the courage to look at these puzzles in the eye without timidly asking about "the solution." It is important that our creation of such puzzles mirror the puzzles
Barbizon school, the bright blues and oranges of the Fauves, or the dependence on black, white, and gray of the Minimalists. This all-purpose term for the individual color realm serves music critics and architects as well, occupying a place in the vocabulary of the arts that is more than technical. It appealed to Kandinsky in a profound way. Gage traced the appearance of the palette in self-portraits and paintings from the the early Renaissance through the nineteenth century. In addition, many
the same time he wanted to induce an act of creation in the eyes of those who enter ("creation begins with visionto see is itself a creative operation, requiring an effort''). The old active and passive roles of artist and viewer are cast aside. Other changes follow, some requiring a degree of illusion, some testing the balance not only of forces within the work but of the active advances of work and viewer toward one another, or of word and world. All of these conventional equilibria are
Kandinsky found his inspiration. Theoretical Writings There are two avenues to Kandinsky's more systematic discourses on color. One proceeds by way of the theoretical writings, such as Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane, and the other follows the course of his teaching at the Bauhaus. As they are addressed to different audiences at different stages in his career, these two versions of his color theory are bound to be different. Together, they offer a foretaste of the