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For several hundred years, however, color had been science. The seven spectrum colors that he observed emerging from his prism, each blending into the next, suggested that color was essentially a physical phenomenon having a natural order.
Bending the spectrum and joining its ends, he created the first color circle. Various other circles and globes appeared in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, each attempting to make comprehensible the stubbornly elusive nature of their subject by arranging it into a logical and orderly pattern. By the early twentieth century, the study of various wheels and globes was absorbed into art school training, including the Bauhaus, based on the idea that knowledge of the inherent order of color would benefit the artist.
As he noted at the outset of Interaction of Color:.
Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is—as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.
In order to use color effectively it albets necessary to recognize that color deceives continually. To this drl, the beginning is not a study of color systems. His color course, which he inaugurated at Black Mountain College, comprised a sequence of simple exercises, each of which isolated some aspect of color interaction so as to observe that interaction carefully.
As presented in the course, these exercises were essentially challenges: Can you get these colors to do this?
Can you find the colors that will do that? His exercises therefore focused on color in specific contexts, showing that if you put color A next to color B, or these colors next to those, you could anticipate certain results.
Moving from simple to complex, with many exercises exploring the ramifications of a previous one, the course awakened the students to the quirks and variables of color behavior.
The course was not a fixed body of color wisdom, but rather an ongoing inquiry in which solutions were not conclusions, but steps on an endless path. In Albers collaborated with Yale University Press to issue a small pocket edition of Interaction of Color and in a complete German edition and a paperback in German were published. Inthe 50th anniversary of the original publication, the digital edition of Interaction of Color was released in a groundbreaking new application for iPad.
Detailed information on the App can be found at www.
La Interaccion del Color : Josef Albers :
Original edition with silkscreened plates, New Haven: Yale University Press, Two-volume hardbound edition with full text and plates. Grundlegung einer Didaktik des Sehens.
Spanish revised and expanded paperback edition, Madrid: Norwegian hardbound edition, Oslo: French revised and expanded paperback edition. Brazilian Portuguese revised and expanded paperback edition.
Chongquing University Press, As he noted at the outset of Interaction of Color: