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Summary Chromophobia FOCI

Realm of the superficial the inessential or the cosmetic which in many cases amounts to the same thing In Chromophobia David Batchelor analyzes the history of and motivations behind chromophobia from its beginnings through examples of nineteenth century literature twentieth century architecture and film to Pop art minimalism and the art and architecture of th Incredibly boring and pretentious I picked this from a list of books for an assignment in one of my art classes because the topic sounded interesting And maybe it could ve been had it been written by someone who was concise and could get the point across in 10 pages rather than 25 Realistically this could ve been a 10 15 page paper rather than a 125 paged book Would not recommend at all

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Chromophobia FOCI

E present day Batchelor suggests how colour fits or fails to fit into the cultural imagination of the West exploring such diverse themes as Melville's great white whale Le Corbusier's journey to the East Huxley's experiments with mescaline Dorothy's travels in the Land of Oz and the implication of modern artists' experiments with industrial paints and material Great new term but needs work on the landing for an interdisciplinary theory on colour the theorization is colourblind and the citations monochrome

David Batchelor Þ 9 Free download

Chromophobia a fear of corruption or contamination through colour has lurked within Western culture since ancient times This is apparent in the many attempts to purge colour from art literature and architecture 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 Washington City PaperArts Entertainment Book ReviewHue and CryBy Glenn Dixon March 2 2001Why the little black dress The black Model T The black telephone The white operating theater The white cube White paper Whitewash Why the determination of serious newspapers to be the last to welcome color Of sophisticated parties to be black tie or white tie Why blue funk yellow journalism red alertWhy do decorators discard dust jackets and have the library rebound in matching leather Why do architecture students a particolored bunch on matriculation depart in the dark uniform of their profession Why do black and white photographers having fought for the recognition of their m tier as art look askance at their colleagues who trade in color Why is analytic cubism so drabThough he addresses only some of these uestions directly British art writer David Batchelor implies that the answer to all is chromophobia a deeply ingrained Western prejudice dating back to antiuity by which color is denigrated and suppressed Chromophobia his brief accessible clear and rigorous book the color of a synthetic raspberry creme asserts that thepurging of colour is usually accomplished in one of two ways In the first colour is made out to be the property of some foreign body usually the feminine the oriental the primitive the infantile the vulgar the ueer or the pathological In the second colour is relegated to the realm of the superficial the supplementary the inessential or the cosmetic In one colour is regarded as alien and therefore dangerous in the other it is perceived merely as a secondary uality of experience and thus unworthy of serious consideration Colour is dangerous or it is trivial or it is both It is typical of prejudices to conflate the sinister and the superficialBatchelor isn t canting or crying wolf when he calls chromophobia a prejudice As with all societally entrenched types of bigotry you find yourself subconsciously reliant on its forms even if you re temperamentally indisposed or philosophically averse to accepting its arguments Its language shapes our metaphors discolors our speech and sways our behaviors As I sit here in my green hat with its gold embroidery in my burnt orange shirt and red striped socks sipping Chartreuse and tending my nails with a pink Swiss Army knife I m wondering why did I think my Aeron chair needed to be upholstered in basic black to match its frame And why is it that the thing actually seems to be black not just colored black And why would a red Panton chair seem to me chair than redBatchelor would place the answer in the age old opposition of form and color most visibly inscribed in the Renaissance grudge match of disegno versus colore drawing versus coloring in He employs a 19th century critic the appropriately named Charles Blanc as his partisan for the former The union of design and colour is necessary to beget painting just as is the union of man and woman to beget mankind but design must maintain its preponderance over colour Otherwise painting speeds to its ruin it will fall through colour just as mankind fell through Eve So it is that color is seen as a fall from grace from a prelapsarian ideal of reason and harmony with the divine into sensuality and chaosIn The Marzipan Pig Russell Hoban and uentin Blake s bizarre and lyrical children s book about aesthetic longing and the great chain of being an owl who has eaten a mouse that devoured the titular hero back on Page 3 and so has absorbed the pig s sweetness its pinkness swoops down from a branch to pitch woo to a taxi meter which glows impassively violet in the night When the meter goes dark the owl turns to purse snatching so that it might once again be illumined He too has fallen has been infected by color within and without has even had his morals corrupted by color only he has fallen into grace not from it Why should a chromophile s story follow the narrative established by chromophobiaUsing the example of Pleasantville Gary Ross film in which a gray scale 50s sitcom town is adulterated by 90s lust youth and color Batchelor writes thatchromophobia and chromophilia are both utterly opposed and rather alikeOn those occasions when colour is given a positive value what is most striking is how its chromophobic image as feminine oriental cosmetic infantile vulgar narcotic and so on is for the most part not blocked stopped and turned around Rather the opposite in chromophilic accounts this process is usually both continued and accelerated Colour remains other in fact it often becomes other than before More dangerous disruptive excessiveChromophobia recognizes the otherness of colour but seeks to play it down while chromophilia recognizes the otherness of colour and plays it up Chromophobia is perhaps only chromophilia without the colourIn a swoop as fell as the owl s from his tree Batchelor has confirmed why color is such a difficult thing to think about and to defend If color s opponents perceive all its attributes rightly but despise them a chromophile is left with little room to maneuverThus Chromophobia may have a hard time convincing color s foes especially those who deem color a distraction and a cosmetic than a corrupter of the importance of its discussion But suffice it to say that the book speaks to but a specific case of a general intellectual malady one whereby morals and aesthetics are confounded In the course of awakening susceptible readers to the full spectrum of visual experience Batchelor arms them with the skepticism appropriate to discerning whether a purported virtue is simply a self imposed poverty in disguiseChromophobia which came out about four months ago was mentioned in some year end best of lists in Artforum but otherwise it doesn t seem to have found much of an audience So when I tell my friends about it I always predict that it has the potential to be the next Invisible Dragon a small tight powerful book that prods people into examining a cultural blind spot a book that in the words of Peter Schjeldahl s cover blurb for that collection of essays on beauty if read widely and above all well word for wordwill help the worldThere s little doubt that Dave Hickey s 1993 book has had an enormous influence on the art world but the real world never really gave up on beauty Beauty s exile an artifact of the renunciatory bent of modernism was historically restricted than is color s subordination which is altogether pervasive and enduring less dependent on the uirks of the cultural moment Although Batchelor s book is less personal than Hickey s less virtuosic and less indebted to the finesse of its author s rhetoric it is likely to help not just the art world but some of the rest of it too CPAfterthought cf Pipilotti Rist s Pepperminta


10 thoughts on “Chromophobia FOCI

  1. says:

    Batchelor argues that there is an enduring aesthetic prejudice against color in Western art society and sensibi

  2. says:

    Washington City PaperArts Entertainment Book ReviewHue and CryBy Glenn Dixon • March 2 2001Why the little black dress The black Model T The black telephone The white operating theater The white cube White paper Whitewash Why the determination of serious newspapers to be the last to welcome color Of sophisticated parties to be black tie—or white tie Why blue funk yellow journalism red alertWhy do decorators discard

  3. says:

    The only thing that I would say about this book is I wish Batchelor had written a long long essay out of the last two chapters rather than writing this whole book

  4. says:

    Incredibly boring and pretentious I picked this from a list of books for an assignment in one of my art classes because the topic sounded interesting And maybe it could’ve been had it been written by someone who was concise and could get the point across in 10 pages rather than 25 Realistically this could’ve been a 10 15 page paper rather than a 125 paged book Would not recommend at all

  5. says:

    Batchelor adeptly weaves together some curious trends in our complex relationship with colour The recurring themes certainly get you thinking but are best taken with a grain of salt as the examples brought into this dense little book don't always say what he thinks they do as surely as his elouence might incline one to be

  6. says:

    Chapters 4 and 5 were the least frustrating chapters of this book like a pretentious veil had finally been lifted briefly Otherwise thoughts felt incoherent and some just unnecessary It was just overall an unpleasant read

  7. says:

    This is a fantastic little book that goes against the Western philosophical tendency to attack revile or belittle color This book is accessible and readable and full of interesting argumentsBut if you're looking for intellectual rigor search out this book's Ur text Jacueline Lichtenstein's The Elouence of Color Rhetoric and Painting in the F

  8. says:

    David Batchelor exposes some key truths about how colour in recent history is experienced purposefully trivialized and in essence feared by men in power; especially those of a higher social class andwell white The book has some great cornerstones but at the same time I could not fully enjoy it because I found the writing to be extremely all over the place There are some sudden brilliant ideas in it which also seem to vanish in thin air wit

  9. says:

    Great new term but needs work on the landing for an interdisciplinary theory on colour the theorization is colourblind and the citations monochrome

  10. says:

    This is how my reading experience went with ChromophobiaChapter One Crap I hated this book Chapter Two ok blablablabChapter Three AH HA because of this chapter I now hate ch 1 lessChapter Four And now I hate ch 2 lessChapter Five pr