Ranging from Homer to Picasso, and from the Iranian Revolution to The Wizard of Oz, this spirited and radiant book awakens us anew to the role of color in our lives
Our lives are saturated by color. We live in a world of vivid colors, and color marks our psychological and social existence. But for all color’s inescapability, we don’t know much about it. Now authors David Scott Kastan and Stephen Farthing offer a fresh and imaginative exploration of one of the most intriguing and least understood aspects of everyday experience.
Kastan and Farthing, a scholar and a painter, respectively, investigate color from numerous perspectives: literary, historical, cultural, anthropological, philosophical, art historical, political, and scientific. In ten lively and wide-ranging chapters, each devoted to a different color, they examine the various ways colors have shaped and continue to shape our social and moral imaginations. Each individual color becomes the focal point for a consideration of one of the extraordinary ways in which color appears and matters in our lives. Beautifully produced in full color, this book is a remarkably smart, entertaining, and fascinating guide to this elusive topic.
"A sparkling and erudite meditation . . . a rich perspective . . . gorgeous to look at, too . . . Drawing from art, science and semiotics, with fascinating side trips into politics and history, Messrs. Kastan and Farthing summon a full-spectrum discussion of a phenomenon as wondrous as it is commonplace."-Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
"A great addition to the collection of anyone who is, to some degree, passionate about color."-Angelica Frey, Hyperallergic
"On Color is a deliciously readable, gloriously illumined work of meditation and exploration, written in high resolution."-Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal
"Here is a subtle and imaginative insight into the slippery phenomenon we call colour - and how variously we perceive and emblemise it: a wise and fascinating study."-Colin Thubron
"Like the best works of cultural criticism, On Color changes how we see the world. I mean that quite literally. After reading this brilliant book, the mundane appears sharper, richer, and more meaningful."-James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
"This lively, erudite, and far-reaching introduction to the poetics of color combines anecdotal art history with cultural and literary studies to illustrate a fundamental truth: that color is relational as well as subjective. This entertaining and humane book effortlessly deepens our engagement with the visual world."-David Salle