Johannes Itten
Reinhold, New York, 1961, 1973, English; originally published in German
Nonfiction, Graphic Design; Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
ISBN: 0442240376

From the Publisher of the 1973 edition. “What would the world be without color? A dull, joyless melange of shapes without vital meaning. Color is life, for a world without color seems dead. As a flame produces light, light produces color. As intonation lends color to the spoken word, color lends spiritually realized sound to form.”—Johannes Itten. Over the years numerous color theories have been published: Goethe's theory of color is as famous as Wilhelm Ostwald's color circle. Adolf Hölzel exercised an important influence on modern art with his theory of color. With his Art of Color Johannes Itten makes a contribution. Using Hölzel’s theory as a springboard, Itten has expanded and developed it along his own original lines. Although never published before, the Itten theory already underlies progressive art education all over the world. In this book Itten examines two different approaches to understanding the art of color. Subjective feelings and objective color principles are the two poles which are described in detail and clarified with numerous color reproductions. The key to this knowledge lies in the color circle and the seven color contrasts. The problems of visual, emotional, and symbolic color effects are carefully explored with numerous color illustrations. The systematic color exercises are followed by outstanding reproductions of paintings by the great masters, which offer insight into all the epochs of Western painting from the early Middle Ages to Klee and Picasso. With each reproduction is one of Professor Itten's famous analyses which proves how conscious awareness and use of color contrast has been an important means of expression.

According to Itten, composition implies bringing two or more colors together in such a way that they harmonize to give an expression unambiguous and full of character. When preparing the first printing of The Art of Color in 1960, author and publisher were faced with the problem of finding the most favorable method of producing the difficult color reproductions. It could only be done by producing the various color plates by entirely different printing processes, which had to be done by several printers, and then tipping them into the book.

On list 10 Books from the Paul Rand Library.

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