Physiological Colour Studies and Modernist Art

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Goethe emphasised on first-hand encounters between the student and the subject of study rather than the quantitative and materialistic approach that most scientists were accustomed to. He gave meaning to the term phenomenology, which included a deeper and more accurate description of phenomena that entails listening to the subject of study and a way to identify their core aspects and qualities. Goethe emphasised the importance of scientists experiencing first hand and cautioned that the greatest danger was during the transition from seeing to interpreting, the mind tends to impose an intellectual structure that is not actually present in the object being studied. He was sceptical of Newtons theory of colour and conducted his own studies later on publishing The Theory of Colour. Goethe examined the physiological aspects of colour and requested learners to acquaint themselves with the effect of light and darkness. He concluded that colour was the resolution of the tension between darkness and light.

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Goethe conducted studies in the 1800s on colour interaction, simultaneous contrast and complementary colours. However, he also added other attributes to colour such as human emotions. For instance, colours such as yellow are though to convey force and warmth because it is easy on the eyes. The minus colours were those such as blue that were associated with melancholy and coldness. Goethe uses the analogy of staring at a girl to explain complementary colours. He looked away from her and instead looked at a wall and saw a black face surrounded by white and is what he referred to as complementary colours i.e. white, black, red and green. French chemist, Michel Chevruel worked to investigate why tapestry threads fade and found out that they did not actually fade but due to the simultaneous contrast between adjacent colour threads, it looked faded. He, therefore, concluded through his theory that colour is not static but rather dynamic and relative in nature. The appearance of a colour changes according to its context. In terms of hue, value and chroma, a colour has the tendency to push the appearance of adjacent colours way from it. The theory of Mixed contrasts of both primaries and complementaries developed by Michel Chevruel cites that an object of a particular colour will cast a shadow with that of its complementary colour hence fading out adjacent colours. For instance, red, which is a primary colour, has green as its complementary colour. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter who lived in the post-impressionist era. In his painting titled The Potato Eaters which he developed in 1885 CITATION Arc13 \l 2057 (Architecture Adventures).

Robert and Sonia Delaunays particular theories of simultaneous contrast incorporated the use of geometrical shapes also known as cubism that focused on abstract ideas and used bright colours. They also employed the use of complementaries of different values, desaturated and saturated hues and contrasting temperatures. The difference between Chevruel and The Delaunays is that the latter did not use mixed contrasts to produce optical mixtures. Hence, their colours had the illusion of movement while Chevruel aimed to create calm compositions in which the colours were stable. The Delaunays also categorised colours as either hot or cold based on the reactions they solicited from the viewers. An example of a painting that depicts this theory is Roberts painting titled Rhythm that elaborates on the dynamism of colour and how it can be used to create movement. Another example is Claude Tousignants La Grande Ligne Perdue, which was created in 1969 that shows the alternating use of hot and cold colours to produce movement and dissonance. CITATION Vil16 \l 2057 (Villesdart)The most important tenets of Josef Albers theory on the interaction of colour include: that colour is a relative medium in art and this can only be achieved through extensive experimentation with colours. For example, playing with a colour in a small quantity defers from how it will look in a large quantity or how it will look if surrounded by a different colour. Therefore, there is no single colour that is not related to another and changes depending on the perspective and angle of light. It is also immensely difficult to visualise specific colours as that sense is poor compared to other senses such as auditory memory. People also have different associations with colour, for instance, green represents the environment and, therefore, have a cooling effect. Additionally, not many people are able to distinguish tonal value in different hues with relation to close proximities. It is easier to distinguish two shades of green that it is to differentiate blue and orange. This is because the former have values within shades of the same hues. Colours that tend to have the same value create a vibrating effect and this is because the naked eye discerns value more than hue. He, therefore, concluded that all colours are related. Study for Homage to the Square Richard Anuszkiewicz is a painter who picked up on Albers theory and one of his works in relation to this theory. CITATION Art14 \l 2057 (Art Blart)Hans Hoffmans Push and pull theory he cites that the illusion of space only goes in one direction and that a visual system is created based on lines and points alone cannot be sufficiently be used to define pictorial space. He, therefore, quipped that a combination of colour, light and shape creates a push and pull effect. These, he argued, gave the viewer the illusion of depth and motion on a flat surface. An artist that incorporates spatial illusion is Suzanne Song in her painting Intervals. She is an American artist who uses restrained materials to create spatial illusions CITATION Suz15 \l 2057 (Suzzane Song)The Chiaroscuro notion makes use of strong contrasts between light and dark to achieve a sense of volume for painting compositions. It is also used to create vividness for three-dimensional paintings. This (spatial illusion) is different from Claude Tousignants creation of geometric abstraction in Canada. He incorporated the use of huge circles, square angles, and vivid colours into his work. The geometric forms are more often than not arranged in a non-illusionistic space and combined with non-representational compositions to create pieces that have no object. It focuses on the aspect of two-dimensional arts on a medium. These compositions are often thought as expressionist as they use tilting and pronouncements.

Works Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY Architecture Adventures. Van Gogh's Use of Color. 2013. Document. 27 March 2016.

Art Blart. Homage to the Square. 26 September 2014. 27 March 2016.

Suzzane Song. January 2015. 27 March 2016.

Villesdart. Robert and Sonya Delaunay's theories of simultaneous contrast. n.d. Document. 27 March 2016.

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