Because theories of visual perception have traditionally concentrated on form, artists have generally dealt with the problem of color through their own observation and intuition. In Color Harmonies, Augusto Garau systematically investigates the role of both color and form in visual perception and presents an original theory of the aesthetic relations among colors.
Garau, a painter who teaches the psychology of form, pays particular attention to the way colors behave when organized in patterns. His theory of color combination addresses two principal compositional elements: the relations between figure and ground and the phenomenon of transparency.
Garau meticulously analyzes the use of color in paintings by masters such as CÚzanne, Picasso, and Matisse to show how his theory applies to actual works of art. Containing many full-color examples, his introduction to the workings of color relations is of great practical use to art historians and critics, artists, interior decorators, fashion and set designers, and anyone who works with color to display information or convey emotions.
"In an area of the psychology of art where reliable guidance is still so hard to come by, [Garau's] well-supported contributions to the theory of color composition ought to be welcomed by practitioners and scholars alike."—from the Foreword by Rudolf Arnheim
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additive mixture Arnheim background colors balanced mixtures balanced transparency bluish red bluish yellow brightness Cezanne chro chromatic completion chromatic continuum chromatic unity color pairs colored displays combinations common color complementary colors complete inversion COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY complete-inversion pair composition contrast Da Pos dynamic example figural unity fusion color Gaetano Kanizsa Garau's Heider impression of transparency instance inversion pairs Johannes Itten kind of juxtaposition lightness Metelli Metzger opaque painting partial inversions partial transparency partial-inversion pair Paul Klee perceived perception of transparency perceptual transparency Plate primary color pure color rectangles reddish blue rB reddish yellow Rudolf Arnheim scission seen shared area shared color shared dominant shared subordinate shared-dominant pair shared-subordinate pair split stimulus color subordinate colors subtractive color subtractive mixture tertiary mixtures third color three primaries tion transparent figure transparent layer transparent surface triangles tures unbalanced unit of blue unit of yellow violet Visual Perception