The Philosophy and Psychology of Visual Art

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  1. #1
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    The Philosophy and Psychology of Visual Art

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend any books that talk specifically about the philosophy and psychology of visual art. This could refer to symbolism and iconography, it could talk about visual aesthetic and why we find some things more attractive than others, or anything else related to the subject. I've read Art and Fear which touched loosely on the subject, but not in great depth, and quite a few of Huxley's books and essays touch on the subject as well. Furthermore, most of the art history classes I've taken have spoken a little about these kind of things. Other than that we had a brief lecture and a handout on the "Psychology of Color" in my color theory class that was rather unsatisfactory. I wish my school had a specific course like this but alas!

    I think Jung has a book on symbolism, which would probably be a good place to start. Recommend books, essays, and lectures, please!

    Last edited by OldJake666; February 1st, 2012 at 10:18 PM.
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    Even though it's a textbook, this book has a fair amount of info: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Fundamenta.../dp/0073526525

    You can pick it up on ebay for about a third of the price.

    You may want to do some googling about Gestalt and art too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology

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    What's really very surprising is that there's very little written about this subject. I can't be the only one who's interested in this!

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    This is indeed an interesting subject regarding art and our brain. I got some lessons from philosophy class that are about our brain and how we react to art and why. I saw a rather short movie about this subject in an animated board style explaining different subjects. Only problem is, that I can't find it at the moment.

    For example what fascinated me from that movie: People all around the world prefer to see a landscape painting with lots of grass and trees. And a path that leads from the lower end of the painting to the distance of the horizon. The path is a symbol for the human life or adventure. Interesting part about this, is that people from the desert or other places where there is no such nature, love the painting while they are unfamiliar with these surroundings.

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    Do you mean the TED Talks video on beauty that was posted here a couple of months ago?

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    i remember quite liking this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Abstraction-Ar.../dp/0198173598

    it goes into art and aesthetics in terms of information theory. i have it at home somewhere

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    Try Eye of the Painter by, guess who, Andrew Loomis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    What's really very surprising is that there's very little written about this subject. I can't be the only one who's interested in this!
    Jacob, Aesthetics is the philosophy of this very thing. Books on aesthetics can fill an entire library building. But aesthetics is very abstruse and requires a lot of time and concentration to get. Not to mention the vocabulary. And Aesthetics is a series of arguments, not all of which push the matter forward. The arguments have been more or less ongoing in print since the 1550s.

    Sadly, most of the modern books which purport to be about aesthetics are written by academics who don't have a good handle on the subject. Which hasn't stopped them from being influential. It is a very hard subject to get into without first reading a bunch of nonsense and half-truths.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Jacob, Aesthetics is the philosophy of this very thing. Books on aesthetics can fill an entire library building. But aesthetics is very abstruse and requires a lot of time and concentration to get. Not to mention the vocabulary. And Aesthetics is a series of arguments, not all of which push the matter forward. The arguments have been more or less ongoing in print since the 1550s.

    Sadly, most of the modern books which purport to be about aesthetics are written by academics who don't have a good handle on the subject. Which hasn't stopped them from being influential. It is a very hard subject to get into without first reading a bunch of nonsense and half-truths.
    o: which books would you recommend then?

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    Currently, I recommend as a foundation learning how to draw and paint through daily drawing and painting from life, nature, and the imagination and some teaching aid like the Famous Artists Course (earliest editions you can find).

    At least Icarus tried!


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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
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