Chapter 7 illustrates how artists and designers use Light and Color to further illustrate spatial relationships. The first studies by Isaac Newton laid the groundwork for the later theories of Johann von Goethe, Johannes Itten, and Josef Albers, as well as all the artists and scientists who have contributed theories on the physics and psychology of color. Ultimately, our world is revealed to us through light...and our ability to differentiate color makes the world more intelligible and provides variety. Science has shown us many objective properties of color, but it remains the most subjective of the visual elementscolor is perceived differently by everyone. Understanding color relationships, cultural preferences, and even the process of mixing colors, will help you to further appreciate how artists use color, and how you respond to certain colors.
After reading this chapter you should:
While reading this chapter, you will probably find some of the most provocative information to be the manner in which the cited artists have used color. Henri Matisse attempted additive and subtractive color mixing with paint; the Impressionists studied optical mixing, allowing their bold strokes of color to mix "in the eye," when viewed from a distance. Chuck Close studies a similar phenomena in his work, Stanley. A later artist, George Seurat, took optical mixing to an extreme level. Other artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Wassily Kandinsky, sought to convey a certain "spirituality" in the colors they employed. Ultimately, color is something most of us accept naturally, both in our environment and in the way artists describe our environment. The more we know about color, however, the more we can come to appreciate the skillful and creative use of color we see in any artist's work.