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COLOR - 62 Michael Hayden srtr’s THE LIMIT 193 United...

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Unformatted text preview: 62 Michael Hayden. srtr’s THE LIMIT. 193?. United Airlines Terminals, O’Hare International airport, Chicago. Noon tubes, mirrors, controlled by computers with synchronized sounds. Length F441 Churchill Er Klehr Photography. and general well-being. California architect Vin- cent Palmer has experimented with the color and intensity of interior light, and he has found that he can modify the behavior of his guests by changing the color of the light around them. Light quality affects people’s emotions and physical comfort, thereby changing the volume and intensity of their conversations and even the lengdrs of their visits. As light technology has developed, and people have increased their awareness of the important 1'I-IllfiLlill'iL ELEMENTS fimctions of light, lighting design has become ' ' important. Qualities of light triust be care-hilly .' sidered in most of the visual arts, but espe 1-. photography, cinematography, television, s . ; sign, architecture, and interior design. Light as a Medium Some contemporary artists use artificial light their medium. Michael Hayden employs light with spectacular effect in his installation sin” 7'- THE LIMIT. The sculpture runs the entire length the ceiling of an underground pedestrian walkway in the United Airlines Terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The work modifies space in a cycle of changing, moving light patterns, as neon tubes of colored light turn on and off in computer- timed sequences with musical accompaniment. Light used in combination with visual media and sound has become of increasing interest to contemporary artists. lighting has also become im- portant in performances of all kinds, including rock concerts and videos. -o.I_._n o or, a component of light, affects us directly by modifying our thoughts, moods, actions, and even our health. Psychologists, as well as designers of schools, offices, hospitals, and prisons, have ac- knowledged that colors can affect work habits and mental conditions. People surrounded by expanses of solid Wged £01" long periods often eaperid ence Mums and increased blood pressure. In contrast, some-Abilene» have a calming effect,__causing blood pressure, pulse, and activity rates to drop to below normal levels. Dressing according to our color preferences is one way we express ourselves. Leading designers of everything from clothing and cars to housewares and interiors recognize the importance of individual color preferences, and they spend considerable time and eapense determining the colors of their products. Most cultures use color symbolically, according to established customs. Leonardo da Vinci was in- fluenced by earlier European traditions when he wrote, “We shall set down for white the representaa tive of light, without which no color can be seen; yellow for earth; green for water; blue for air; red for fire; and black for total darkness.”5 In tradi- tional painting in North India, flat areas of color are used to suggest certain moods, such as red for anger and blue for sexual passion. The artist may paint the sky or the ground with a bright shade that relates not to the appearance of the area, but to the feeling appropriate to the work. In spoken Ausa trian German, yellow describes a state of envy or jealousy, while blue means intoxicated. In China and Japan, traditional painters have often limited themselves to black ink on white. Be- fore the mid-nineteenth century, color was used in limited, traditional ways in 1Western art. In the 1360s and 1370s, influenced by the new science of color, the French Impressionist painters revolution— iaed the way color was seen and used. The Physics of Color What we call “color" is the effect on our eyes of light waves of differing wavelengths or frequencies. When combined, these light waves make white light—the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Indi- vidual colors are components of white light. The phenomenon of color is a paradox: color exists only in light, but light itself seems colorless to the human eye. All objects that appear to have color are merely reflectors or transmitters of the colors that must be present in the light that illumi— nates them. In 1666, British scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that white light is composed of all the colors of the spectrum. He found that when the white light of the sun passes through a glass prism, it is separated into the bands of color that make up the chiefs spree-am, as shown in the dia- gram wHITE LIGHT aaraac‘ran or a PRISM. Because each color has a different wavelength, each travels through the glass of the prism at a dif- ferent speed. Red, which has the longest wave- length, travels more rapidly through the glass than blue, which has a shorter wavelength. A rainbow results when sunlight is refracted and dispersed by the spherical forms of raindrops, producing a com- bined effect like that of the glass prism. In both cases, the sequence of spectral colors is: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Pigments and Light Our common experience with color is provided by light reflected from pigmented surfaces. Therefore the emphasis in the following discussion is on pigment color rather than on color coming from light alone. When light illuminates an object, some of the light is absorbed by the surface of the object and some is reflected. The color that appears to our eyes as that of the object (called local color or eéjeer color) is determined by the wavelengths of light being reflected. Thus a red surface illuminated by white light {full-spectrum light) appears red, be— cause it reflects mostly red light and absorbs the rest of the spectrum. A green surface absorbs most of the spectrum except green, which it reflects; and so on with all the hues. Men all the wavelengths of light are absorbed by a surface, the object appears black; when all the wavelengths are reflected, the surface appears white. Black and white are not true colors: white, black, and their combination, gray, are achromatic {without the property of hue} and are often referred to as neutrals. RED GRANGE YELLDW GREEN BLU E warts LioI-rr ass axcrae 1Itr'II‘JZrLISF 9? BE A PRISM. VISUAL ELEMENTS 53 RED-G RANGE 93 Nisan-am?! WDLET THE THREE DIMENSIDNE UP COLOR. a. Hue—the color wheel. 64 1 ' 1 . + WHITE PURE HUE . - I I. I . , .-- _... I r... -: . . I J I -'I - . ._ :- I h |. I |_. _. .. b. vxLUE—fiom light to dark. Value scale fiom white to black. PURE H UE + BLACK 1"II’altre variation in red, . In,” - .i'l‘I-I— git! DU LLED PURE H U E c. INTEHsITv—from bright to dull. 1|INSUAL ELEMENTS w Each of the millions of colors human I I._ can distinguish is identifiable in terms of just I:., variables: hue, value, and intensity. ii - Has refers to a particular wavelength of s I tral color to which we give a name. Colors .5:- the spectrum—such as yellow and green—are called hues. I Value refers to relative lightness or darkness from white through grays to black. Pure hues vary in value. On'rl-rs THREE orstawsrons on coLon chart, hues in their purest state are at their usual values. Pure yellow is the lightest Ii" hues; violet is the darkest. Red and green are.- middle-Ivalue hues. Black and white pigments can be important ingredients in changing color values. Black added to a hue produces a shade of that hue. For example, when black '._-- added to orange, the result is a brown; when black is mixed with red, the result is maroon : White added to a hue produces a rim. La - I_II der is a tint of violet; pink is a tint of red. I Iarsasr'g; also called saturation, refers to the purity of a hue or color. A pure hue is the . most intense form of a given color; it is the . hue at its highest saturation, in its brightest form. With pigment, ifwhjte, black, gray, or another hue is added to a pure hue, its inren-_ sity diminishes and the color is thereby d .I_I When the pigments of different hues are ';,;..?;'_ together, the mixture appears duller and darker III- cause pigments absorb more and more light as thII'L'; absorptive qualities combine. For this reason, 13' ment mixtures are called sasaacase sobr- mists Mixing red, blue, and yellow will produce a I. -. gray, almost black, depending on the proportions and the type of pigment used. Most people are familiar with the three PIG- MEET Pumas: red, yellow, and blue. Printers use magenta (a bluish red), yeltbw, and gran {a greenish blue) because magenta and cyan provide the spe- cific purplish red and greenish blue that work best for four-color printing. _ . A lesser-known triad is the three LIGHT PR1- - Es: red-orange. green. and blue-violet—actual ' - ic light colors that produce white light when .__:.ubned. Such mixtures are called Witter relax mixtures. Combinations of the light primaries pro- duce lighter colors: red and green light. when mixed. produce yellow light. Color television em- ploys additive color mixture. Color Wheel Th'e color wheel is a twentiethrcentury version of the circle concept first developed in the seven- teenth century by Sir Isaac Newton. After Newton discovered the spectrum. he found that both ends could be combined into the hue red-violet, making the color wheel concept possible. Numerous color systems have followed since that time. each with its own basic hues. The color wheel shown here is based on twelve pure hues and can be divided into the following groups: I Primary beer (see 1 on the color wheel): red, yellow, and blue. These pigment hues cannot be produced by an intermixing of other hues. They are also referred to as primary colors. I Secondary hates (see 2 on the color wheel): ori ange. green, and violet. The mixture of two primaries produces a secondary hue. Secon- daries are placed on the color wheel between the two primaries of which they are composed. - Intermediate hares (see 3 on the color wheel): red-orange, yellow-orange. yellow-green, blue-green, blueeviolet, and redeviolet. Each intermediate is located between the primary and the secondary of which it is composed. The blue-green side of the wheel is seal in psy- chological temperature, and the red-orange side is warm. Yellow-green and red-violet are the poles di- viding the color wheel into warm and cool hues. The difference between warm and cool colors may come chiefly from association. Relative warm and cool differences can be seen in any combination of hues. Color affects our feelings about size and dis- tance as well as temperature. Cool colors appear to contract and recede; warm colors appear to expand and advance, as in the wxxstx’coot coLoxs diagram. DIGMENT PRIMEIES: SUBTRACTWE CELEB. MIKTURE. 95? ICI'CJ LIGHT PEIMAEIEE: ADDITIVE COLOR MIII'URE. rot wxxxtfco or. co Loxs. Color sensations more vibrant than those achieved with actual pigment mixture can be obtained when dots of pure color are placed together so that they blend in the eye and mind, to create the appear- ance of other hues. This is called optical cedar mixture. For example. we see rich greens when many tiny dbts or strokes of yellow—green and blue—green are placed close together. (View the mteractive exercise Elements of Color and light on the DheoseriegArt CD.) FISUAL ELEMENTS m P. D E m a HE. E .. E F: :t Um m n u. H mm aim 1H “w . hi mam. m dU Gd.“ u .m. cmfl My mm dam“ .4. n... m3 mnme m1 Hfimi 5w. “Emma cmfl. mnxmm m,m. mmfimm m MG? m mfimu Rummn 13 m w j m mu mmm Ifinm an .m Emu Cfmmm PEHW LAChm. mmmw .Imumw C TE DAUH m1” m + . Im 5 H T _...u N m E - .._”._ . ......u._... 2.. I4. .._ u m: M _ m.“ E E L ._..._. m. i. JP_ m E . t. . _.. . .. _r n L a e a. m: A g _ .41 .,.__- _ m u . _ .1... .. . , a .. 5. w EH; i W - mu h. H u. "m a "m m E g. E E Painter Georges Seurat developed this concept in _,.. 1330s as a result of his studies of Impressionist "II tings and recent scientific discoveries of light and 1':.:. He wanted his paintings to capture the bril— _ - and purity of natural light. Semat called his Tu Hi divisionism; it is now usually called points} 3 The result is similar to modern fouracolor print« [in which tiny dots of ink in the printers three in : colors—magenta (a bluish red), yellow. and '-: (a greenish blue)—are printed together in vari- amounts with black ink on white paper to _. -- the effect of full color. Seurat, however, used I: . Compare the detail ofSeurat’s a smear or: ”iv: - on JA'ITE with the color separations and the [.2 1.3m detail of the reproduction of Botticelli’s . us we. (T he complete paintings appear in '_::.-.. 21 and 1?.) The eye perceives subtle blends '_I-:I:'callymi1tes tiny dots of intense color both in ’s painting and in four-color printing. Schemes _'_I groupings that provide distinct color har- '::-—. are called color schemes. .._ anachronistic color schemes are based on 3,: ms in the value and intensity of a single hue. Lemonochromatic scheme, a pure hue is used __:. with black andlr or white, or mixed with black __: rwhite. Artists may choose a monochromatic scheme because they feel that a certain color j}... .1 ts a mood. Pablo Picasso, for example, i _ many blue paintings in the early years of the 'f'.‘ . :I- century, at a time in his life when he was IWor Other artists adopt the monochromatic sch__1eme as a kind of personal discipline, in -.te experiment with the various shades and ,1 one of a relatively narrow band of the spec- ail-James McNeill Whistler did just that 1n the I when he embarked on a series of works 5.“ HUCTURNES. The series began when he no- ___'-+: that after sunset the world becomes in effect 'III - monochromatic as the brightest hues disap- . . The challenge, which he met in HDCTURNE: ':.'-.--.-1 1 oorn—orn asrreasaa names, is to cre- rich surface with limited tonal means. e gold flecks are the only counterfoil to the w... 1 amatic blue-green scheme. 11:14 James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Hec'ruafle: BLUE awn com, on: sameness BRIDGE. Will—1 Biff-J. Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain. fl Erich LESiflgffl-H: Resource, "l"- VISUAL ELEMENTS IE? :‘l ii] ”.1, l ' 1 IF' 3.. h: Ill It. It- '|-.:' T55. r-.'.' roj jennifier Bartlett. votvo CDMMIESIDH. 1934. Relaxation room, derail: table, painted wood, 29" I 35" at 35"; chair, painted wood, 35" s: 18” a: 13"; portfolio of twenty-Four drain-rings, pen, brush, and ink on paper, It)" a 16"; house cigarette bflI, painted won-cl, 5" H 5"; beat ashtray, silver, 5" in: 2"; screen, enamel on six wood panels, 6' Zr: 10'3". Volvo Corporate Headquarters, Sweden. Courtesy of the artist. 1||.I"|SU.-'5ILL ELEMENTS Analogs-as color schemes are based on colo-; adjacent to one another on the color wheel, av. J" containing the same pure hue, such as a cult“ scheme of yellow-green, green, and blueigrw- -._. Tints and shades of each analogous hue may Iii-L used to add variations to such color schemes. Jennifer Bartlett’s three-dimensional installa-i tion voLvo cosrsrrssrorr uses the analogous colors yellow-orange, yellow, and yellow—green, which are adjacent to one another in the spectrum and on the color wheel. The analogous color scheme supports the mood of quiet relaxation appropriate to the pleasant rural subject. Complementary color schemes emphasise uvo hues directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green. When actually mixed together as pigments in almost equal amounts, complementary hues form neutral grays; but when placed side by side as pure hues, they contrast strongly and intensify each other. Complementary hues red—orange and blue—green tend to “vibrate” more when placed neat to each other than do other complements because they are close in value and produce a strong warmicool contrast. The comple— ments yellow and violet provide the strongest value contrast possible with pure hues. The complement of a primary is the opposite secondary, which is ob- tained by misting the other two primaries. For ear ample, the complement of yellow is violet. Keith Haring’s UNTITLED shows the effect of complementary colors. The bright red and green are near-opposites on the color wheel. When seen together they vibrate. This “loud” color scheme supports the simple execution and brash subject matter of the painting in providing an almost com- ically crude effect. The artist used Dayglo paints, which are known for their gaudy brightness. These examples provide only a basic founda+ tion in color theory. In fact, most artists work intu- itively with color harmonies more complex. than ' the schemes described above. rend Keith Haring. ourrrtsn. 1932. Dayglo paint on wood. 3%" K 4%". $ The Estate offleith Haring. ...
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