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Interaction of Color: New Complete Edition
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Interaction of Color: New Complete Edition

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  5,274 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
One of the most influential books on color ever published, Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is a masterwork. Originally issued in 1963 as a limited-edition set of commentary and 150 silkscreened color plates, the book introduced generations of students, artists, designers, and collectors to Albers’s unique approach to complex principles.
While the original publication h
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published December 15th 2009 by Yale University Press (first published 1971)
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Erik Mallinson
Josef Albers rolls away the color wheel and brings in relational color theory. An example of this is shown on the cover, where one brown looks totally different when placed next to warm or cool tones.

From my years of experience as a picture framer before I read this book I found myself in total agreement with Albers. If the color wheel is memorizing multiplication tables Interaction of Color is doing experimental equations. The color world of Josef Albers is hands on, real, as art is.
Feb 22, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course, I was introduced to the Interaction of Color in art school in the latter 1970s. This is one of the most important works on color theory. I would go so far as to call it mind-altering as it will have some bearing on any work you do after reading it. If you are a young artist, please consider this necessary reading. If you are older, it will be stimulating to your work. I know I should reread it.
Apr 27, 2016 Yuki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: connoisseurs, color theorists

One of the paintings in the series Abstract, by Clare Rojas.
Zolani Stewart
The book definitely inspires readers to think more deeply about color, and there are ideas that I found valuable. But overall, it's hard to say that I really got anything from Interaction of Color. There isn't much concrete information that you feel like you're learning and could use. A lot of it is composed of specific examples, but not a helpful base of ideas that one can use to jump into thought and practice with.

Also, it's very text heavy, which is weird for a book about color. There are ex
Leslie Liu
Apr 25, 2015 Leslie Liu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
色彩互動學 -Interaction of Colors






Un libro/workshop sul colore, che consiglio a chiunque di usare in modo pratico.
Non si tratta infatti di un manuale con teoremi, assiomi e ferree teorie da leggere annoiandosi.
L’autore - alla luce di laboratori/lezioni con studenti - analizza effetti ottici causati dall'accostamento dei colori.
Invoglia il lettore a testare personalmente le teorie riportate, sia per una migliore comprensione della lezione sia per ‘’allenare l’occhio’’ e scoprire ulteriori e inaspettati effetti.

Il testo é strutt
Dec 14, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Really cool exploration of color theory from 1963. Still relevant and still engaging. The prose is written in a concise, almost poetic way, and very easy to read. The plates look great, but my only complaint is that in the 50th anniversary edition they should have reorganized the book so you didn't have to keep flipping to the back to see the color plates.
Sep 16, 2009 Nico rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
not so much a lecture as it is poetry. My silly graphic arts prof. for my graduate certificates couldn't think of a book to read for the class. I guess instead of being polite, I should have mentioned this.
Feb 04, 2014 Maura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
50+ years after its release, this still WOWS. Every color exercise brings a new concept forward. There's an interactive app, too. Combines moving color plates, text and audio for a full surround-sound experience. This book is a gem!
Mar 02, 2017 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
Josef Albers is a brilliant teacher, he provides enough instruction for a student reading the book to explore, but not too much as to prevent them from thinking flexibly about color. His pedagogy for color is also applicable for other aspects of Design. After reading the book, it feels like my eyes have opened up to a whole new world. He draws your attention to the subtle ways that color interact with each other.

I really enjoyed his writing style. He writes poetically and beautifully about colo
Beth Surdut
Apr 17, 2015 Beth Surdut rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interaction of Color stands out as the one book and class that changed and expanded the way I see and use color. It gave me an appreciation abstract art, which had never resonated for me prior to my participatory immersion in the challenges Albers creates. It also gave me a much deeper understanding of the ways people experience color. This book is a game changer for any artist who physically does all the exercises and has the benefit of seeing and hearing other students' reactions.
NOTE: I was
Jan 21, 2011 Susanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book on color theory
5 stars for the 'Interaction of Color' but only 3 for this 1970s edition. I appreciate that colour plates add to production costs but producing a black and white edition of an exemplified book on colour theory without the colour examples, then sticking a whole 8 token colour plates at the end, is ridiculous. Whatever the happy medium between a $200 silk screened edition, and an accessible study aid should have been, it wasn't this.

Mar 21, 2017 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exploration of relational color theory, which is pretty great in its own right. I struggled a little flipping back and forth between the text and the panels of examples at the end of the book, and agree with certain other reviewers that more examples and less text might've been more useful (since I am admittedly unlikely to do all the recommended experiments with my own colored paper).
"forth and back"
Annoying or charming?
Mar 01, 2017 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Albers made me realize how totally interesting color is. How it changes based on what surrounds it. How it is subjective. How you can figure out what you need it to do and it will do that.
Nov 16, 2016 Liam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The octogenarian [Albers] had clipped the few bad reviews that appeared along with dozens of favorable ones and tried to find out more about their authors. The voices of 'nay' appeared in obscure publications, but they still counted. One of the reasons the artist was so interested was that the things for which the critics attacked the nooks were exactly the elements that excited him the most, because they recommended such a radical departure from traditional, hidebound ways of seeing." (x)

Anthony Cimitile
What made me choose this book, was that, I wanted to learn more about the uses of color and the way they are seen. When I used to learn about art, I didn't exactly learn so much about color usage and how it is taken in visually. I believed that this book, would answer my questions that I have about color. Inwhich it has. And I gave learned much of how people would see colors in an image.
One thing that I liked about this book, was that the person who made this book, has conducted studies about ho
Sep 30, 2013 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-books
Josef Albers was an artist and instructor at schools as prestigious as the Bauhaus and Yale. He published Interaction of Color in 1963 and it has been used by students ever since. Apparently, it was quite revolutionary at the time and though it perhaps has lost any sense of radicalism it has lost none of its utility. Essentially, Albers concocted and laid out in this book a highly specific method for teaching color behavior to students. Crucially, it involves colored paper rather than paint; a c ...more
Sep 06, 2008 Nat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book would be a great way of introducing students to philosophical questions about color. It's written as a kind of experiment-based lesson plan for an art class on color, but the reader gets the benefit of a bunch of beautiful color plates illustrating Albers's experiments. Albers shows how to make two pieces of the same color paper look like two different colors when placed against different backgrounds, how to make three colors look like two, how to make two different colors look identic ...more
Nikki Coffelt
meh. i only read parts of this book so take my review with a grain of salt! some interesting information presented on *relational* color theory-- so i learned a bit of new information right there-- but i found the book itself very dry, dense and difficult to get through. i think i'll continue using trial and error with my own optical illusions (hehe!) and trusting my intuition when painting... either that or take a class at some point that integrates technique with something a bit more ALIVE... ...more
Kayl Parker
Jan 13, 2014 Kayl Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1// "In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually."

2// "As 'gentlemen prefer blondes,' so everyone has preference for certain colors and prejudices against others. It seems good that we are of different tastes. As it is with people in our daily life, so it is with color. We change, correct, or reverse our opinions about colors, and this change in opinion may shift forth or back."

3// "On the whole, variants demonstrate, besides a sincere attitude,
Jan 20, 2016 Krystle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: txt_original, nf_aig
Interesting to think of this as ever having been controversial or divisive (if the foreword is to be believed) since it all seems so.... common-sense? easily noticeable in everyday life?

The text is application/practice before theory, and so it's less "here's how/why this works" and more "do this exercise and discover for yourself."

I will say that I am convinced that there was a color-printing error (irony!) in this 50th Anniversary edition.
For pages 91 and 93, try as I might, I could not see the
Feb 08, 2010 Tripleguess rated it it was amazing
A very interesting, freeing introduction to color. It's a little awkward to flip between the two volumes (all the text is in one and all the plates in the other) so you can see the intended plates while viewing the matching text, but overall worth the fumbling. I used to be afraid, basically, that people would laugh at me if I went ahead and colored my pictures without knowing anything about color theory. This book has removed my fear and, while I am not an expert on color, I now have confidence ...more
Nick Escobar
Jul 05, 2014 Nick Escobar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, design
(Note: I have the Unabridged text - Revised Edition from 1975) Interaction of Color is a book about color as much as Moby Dick is a book about whales. While books on color have often tried to layout and explain guidelines for using color, Albers try to get us to understand that all color is subjective. To create great color palates for design or painting or what have you, you need to understand why colors behave the way they do to the human eye. The book is set up as an instructional guide for l ...more
Nov 13, 2016 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I'll acknowledge the importance of this book in the timeline of art and color education. The first 70+ pages are literal guides in teaching color theory. Adler's approach is all about color relation—how one color next to another changes the way we perceive it.

I wanted this book to give me a hard and fast answer to how to use color and apply it to art and design—but it was more of a guide on how to experience color, and in a roundabout way, how to apply it.

Worth a look for any art educator
Brian Lange
Jul 25, 2013 Brian Lange rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book probably pales in comparison to the original classes it was cribbed from, and it can be a little theoretical and hard to get through at times, it helped me realize truths about color that I haven't seen stated so well anywhere before or since, which have helped me on design and branding projects. Recommend the interactive iPad version.

"...independent of harmony rules, any color ‘goes’ or works’ with any other color, presupposing that their quantities are appropriate." - Josef Albe
Noelle VanVleet
Nov 09, 2014 Noelle VanVleet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: printed-books, art
This little book is a fascinating introduction to the changeable nature of color. Albers used examples created by himself and his students to create optical illusions with colored paper. He makes two different colors look the same, the same color look different. He proves over and over again that the way we perceive a particular color is profoundly affected by the surrounding colors. Both entertaining and informative.
Mar 08, 2017 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Pretty quick to read, and what I particularly enjoyed was the use of the illustrations and the projects within to help explain and further your understanding of colour. There's several exercises within (mostly being a whole book written for the purpose of teaching about colour by using these methods) that are incredibly helpful, in maybe not even just making you understand colour a little bit, but open your eyes to the depth and complexity within the subject.
Caroline Mathews
Aug 26, 2013 Caroline Mathews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, the storyteller is brushing up on her art. I downloaded Interaction of Color to my iPad - a wonderful study venue. My new desk easel is set up on a typing table. I can roll it everywhere. I have pastels, which I've never used. I have my beloved pencils. I will finish this review later (or not). At this point, I'm simply making a note to myself that I must be crazy to start over like this have waited so long.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions 2 9 Aug 09, 2016 12:36PM  
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