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The Luminous and the Grey

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The Luminous and the Grey

By David Batchelor

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Format: Paperback, 128 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 March 2014
Colour is a given of most people's everyday lives, but at the same time it lies at the limits of language and understanding. David Batchelor's previous book for Reaktion, Chromophobia, addressed the extremes of love and loathing that colour has provoked since antiquity. This book charts more ambiguous terrain. The Luminous and the Grey is a study of the places where colour comes into being and where it fades away, an inquiry into when colour begins and when it ends, both in the material world and in the imagination. Batchelor draws on a wide range of material, including neuroscience, philosophy, literature, film and the writings of artists; and makes use of his own experience as an artist who has worked with colour for more than twenty years. After considering the place of colour in some creation myths, in industrial chemistry, in recent thinking on optics and in the specific forms of luminosity that saturate the modern city, the book culminates in a meditation on the unique colour that is also a non-colour, a mood, a feeling, an existential condition and even an insult: grey.

About the Author

David Batchelor is an artist and writer based in London. He is the author of three books, including Chromophobia (2000) also published by Reaktion Books.

Reviews

"Although a measured and carefully researched book, it also takes the reader by surprise, particularly in the run up to the final section on grey, where at first we have a rerun of the many prejudices to be found against this colour, but then suddenly Batchelor turns this around and allows all the bad feeling to unravel. He moves elegantly to a subtle and thought-provoking reflection that draws upon a wide range of sources, including his personal reflections. . . . Batchelor literally delves into ideas about grey and goes further and deeper than I have come across . . . Great read."--Cassone Art Review "All theory is grey, Mephistopheles pronounces in Goethe's Faust. But greyness is the last thing to hold against David Batchelor's colourful essay, The Luminous and the Grey. In three short chapters, the London-based artist-author offers to vindicate 'a colour without a colour' that does so much of the unpaid housework in what we see and what artists make . . . Batchelor ranges wide, touching art, film, optics, and philosophy. His main point is that, contrary to reputation, grey can be bright, engaging, and luminous.' --RA Magazine Although a measured and carefully researched book, it also takes the reader by surprise, particularly in the run up to the final section on grey, where at first we have a rerun of the many prejudices to be found against this colour, but then suddenly Batchelor turns this around and allows all the bad feeling to unravel. He moves elegantly to a subtle and thought-provoking reflection that draws upon a wide range of sources, including his personal reflections. . . . Batchelor literally delves into ideas about grey and goes further and deeper than I have come across . . . Great read. --Cassone Art Review" All theory is grey, Mephistopheles pronounces in Goethe s Faust. But greyness is the last thing to hold against David Batchelor s colourful essay, The Luminous and the Grey. In three short chapters, the London-based artist-author offers to vindicate a colour without a colour that does so much of the unpaid housework in what we see and what artists make . . . Batchelor ranges wide, touching art, film, optics, and philosophy. His main point is that, contrary to reputation, grey can be bright, engaging, and luminous. --RA Magazine"

EAN: 9781780232805
ISBN: 1780232802
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 1.3 centimetres (0.26 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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