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Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye

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Since its first publication in 1954, this work has established itself as a unique classic. It applies the approaches and findings of modern psychology to the study of art; it descirbes the visual process that takes place when people create - or look at - works in the various arts, and explains how they organize visual material according to definite psychological laws. Arti Since its first publication in 1954, this work has established itself as a unique classic. It applies the approaches and findings of modern psychology to the study of art; it descirbes the visual process that takes place when people create - or look at - works in the various arts, and explains how they organize visual material according to definite psychological laws. Artists, critics, art historicans, students, and general readers have found it a highly readable book. Now Arnheim has throughtly revised and enlarged the text and adds new illustrations, taking advantage of recent developments in his own work and that of others.


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Since its first publication in 1954, this work has established itself as a unique classic. It applies the approaches and findings of modern psychology to the study of art; it descirbes the visual process that takes place when people create - or look at - works in the various arts, and explains how they organize visual material according to definite psychological laws. Arti Since its first publication in 1954, this work has established itself as a unique classic. It applies the approaches and findings of modern psychology to the study of art; it descirbes the visual process that takes place when people create - or look at - works in the various arts, and explains how they organize visual material according to definite psychological laws. Artists, critics, art historicans, students, and general readers have found it a highly readable book. Now Arnheim has throughtly revised and enlarged the text and adds new illustrations, taking advantage of recent developments in his own work and that of others.

30 review for Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    For anyone pursuing art as a lifetime adventure/endeavor, this is your art bible. This book was pivotal in opening my mind to a multifaceted way of looking at visual organization, composition and development. It gave me a hunger to create that still fuels me today. Rudolf Arnheim is often overlooked as a pusher of modernist thinking and perhaps that he is maybe out of style or old school, this is SO untrue. Yes, he is from the modernist era and references many artists from that era because of wh For anyone pursuing art as a lifetime adventure/endeavor, this is your art bible. This book was pivotal in opening my mind to a multifaceted way of looking at visual organization, composition and development. It gave me a hunger to create that still fuels me today. Rudolf Arnheim is often overlooked as a pusher of modernist thinking and perhaps that he is maybe out of style or old school, this is SO untrue. Yes, he is from the modernist era and references many artists from that era because of when this was written, but this book is a timeless way of looking at anything. He was an absolute genius and loved teaching, which is very evident in this book. He is in the direct lineage from the Bauhaus and studied with the most influential psychologists, architects and artists of the 20th century. He wrote well into his 90s (lived to be 103!), creating new books for the world. This type of book is probably not for the casual art enthusiast but for people looking to explore art on a deeper realm and gain an understanding of art, the artists mind, and how people perceive art and interpret art mentally regardless of if it contains a narrative or recognizable subject matter. This book is like learning a new language/forgotten language. What once was just a bunch of meaningless sounds or words that stood alone become sentences. It is that prolific. Although his writing style is academic, it is by no means boring and every chapter leads to the pursuit of more knowledge through chasing down books, authors, musicians and artists that he references. If you read this book and love it, you should try to get your hands on a copy of "The Thinking Eye" by Paul Klee and Le Corbusier's "The Modulor".

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    Everyone who reads this book in its entirety is guaranteed to wind up appreciating (and even 'understanding') abstract modernist art- I know I did. Contrary to what someone said here I would say this stuff does sink in- mainly because Arnheim managed to present his observations clearly, and illustrated them convincingly with visuals, in the form of reproductions or explanatory sketches by the author himself. Arnheim's book will equip its readers with not just a vocabulary, but a whole grammar for Everyone who reads this book in its entirety is guaranteed to wind up appreciating (and even 'understanding') abstract modernist art- I know I did. Contrary to what someone said here I would say this stuff does sink in- mainly because Arnheim managed to present his observations clearly, and illustrated them convincingly with visuals, in the form of reproductions or explanatory sketches by the author himself. Arnheim's book will equip its readers with not just a vocabulary, but a whole grammar for talking and thinking about paintings from any chosen era- an invaluable skill for anyone who falls in love with a particular painting but doesn't know why or how to explain it to others. Finally, 'Art and Visual Perception' is an essential read for those confused by post-modern art, willing to enjoy paintings firsthand, on a very basic and satisfying level, that is as resonant arrangements of lines, colours, planes. You'll love Kandinsky after reading this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Damien

    Very similar to Visual Thinking, but a bit broader and contends with sociological & cultural considerations within the history of Art and science. Not quite as condensed, as Visual Thinking is essays, but a much deeper and more interesting book overall.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    هذا كتاب أقل ما يقال أنه رائع ، يفسر كثير من الجوانب المتعلقة بالابداع البصري ، ،وهو مرجع ممتاز في مجاله

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Galvin

    A perennial favorite!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    This book required the double effort from me, since English is not my native language, but it help me build all my creative thinking and visual creativity from scratch in order to be able to "save" it in mind. At the end of the semester we took an exam on this book. 100/100

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mochammad Yusni

    A nice book with interesting content. A must read for anyone who teaches or pursues art and architecture.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This is a textbook slog. But so worth it. As a non-artist (trained in the sciences), this opened my eyes to the many things that are surely fundamental to practicing artists as regards composition. And I see the value of formalism in art, particularly in its teaching as a craft. But as a lover of art, I also see the danger. I am wary of crushing the pure joy of discovery under a heavy pile of nuanced theory and rigid comparative analysis. As a life-long “visceralis I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This is a textbook slog. But so worth it. As a non-artist (trained in the sciences), this opened my eyes to the many things that are surely fundamental to practicing artists as regards composition. And I see the value of formalism in art, particularly in its teaching as a craft. But as a lover of art, I also see the danger. I am wary of crushing the pure joy of discovery under a heavy pile of nuanced theory and rigid comparative analysis. As a life-long “visceralist” (i.e. I know what I like, damn it), I am thankful for these many years of having it all just wash over me. And yet also thankful to now have a more studied basis to understand why it is that I may like or not like a certain work. It seems to me that this book is essential to any aspiring artist. For the rest of us, this is a gift that opens the door to deeper understanding.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    A wonderful insight into our artist look of our world as we see it through our eyes and mind. A wonderful book that has views from both artist and scientist on the subject of sight and art...and where the two meet. Also the psychology of viewing art is given unique attention with clear examples of theory of our perception of our world around us. I found it easy to read and a book worth taking my time to go through so don't be daunted by its size, one can read and put it down and pick it up at a A wonderful insight into our artist look of our world as we see it through our eyes and mind. A wonderful book that has views from both artist and scientist on the subject of sight and art...and where the two meet. Also the psychology of viewing art is given unique attention with clear examples of theory of our perception of our world around us. I found it easy to read and a book worth taking my time to go through so don't be daunted by its size, one can read and put it down and pick it up at a later date and not feel one missed anything, its easy to refocus on the subject he write about on all its pages. Its a must read and this is it's fifty year anniversary of it's publication so it's been a go to for many an artist in this era.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I cannot say enough good about this book. I finished it and wanted to start all over again. For someone who took only one more than the required Art classes in HS (mumble years ago), this was a godsend. I do wish Mrs Garber in Freshman Art Survey had bothered to impart even a smidgin of the information crammed into this book. I am going to purchase a copy. It's a bible for anyone who considers themselves any kind of artist in any visual media.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pau Goñi

    Cambió para siempre la forma en la que aprecio el arte. Es realmente para subrayar, marcar y anotar los temas porque sirven muchísimo, en especial para los que estudiamos carrera afines al diseño y el arte.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Khoi

    The Bible for all things visual and creative. Wonderful guide, accessory and even pillow at times for wide-eyed struggling art history buffs. I would have given it 5 stars had it not been my assigned text. Very big and bulky, hard to carry around.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tooba

    Had to read it in College for a course...found that it seminal in how I looked at and processed the world around me. You can say that it helped me appreciate the intellectual life, instead of snearing at it from my anti-establishment, anti-conformist, angsty "punk rock" attitude as a teen.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dickson

    Classic, but like Classic Coke, there can be too much of a good thing. In the hands of artists, well, like academic art classes, they may want to study it and then forget it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Martinez

    If not the bible per se the New Testament for designers. A consulting guide for any kind of visual expression artist.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Khulan

    i dont know because i dont read this book. i want to this book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brian Bulfer

    good reference book

  18. 4 out of 5

    Derek Barker

    Fantastic

  19. 5 out of 5

    samkap

    This book is great but practically the longest sentence ever.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mentler

    Not an easy read but a necessary one

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Whew!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo Sánchez

    Libro básico para entender la percepción que tenemos sobre el arte y perfecto para darnos el conocimiento necesario al visitar una exhibición.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dreamer

    As an artist I find this book is a must read. It's difficult but essential.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katlene Elynnor

    A value lesson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Found it very interesting. But I read it so long ago that it's probably time to refresh my memory of it. It was a text book and I still have it. So much to read -- so little time!

  26. 5 out of 5

    John McCreery

    Foundational text. Indispensable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Saurabh Srivastava

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anjali

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roberto

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