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Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,116 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Since its publication fifty years ago, this work has established itself as a classic. It casts the visual process in psychological terms and describes the creative way one's eye organizes visual material according to specific psychological premises. In 1974 this book was revised and expanded, and since then it has continued to burnish Rudolf Arnheim's reputation as a groun ...more
Paperback, 50th anniversary, 518 pages
Published November 8th 2004 by University of California Press (first published 1954)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  3,116 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Jamie
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
For anyone pursuing art as a lifetime adventure/endeavor, this is your art bible. This book was pivotal in opening my mind to a multifaceted way of looking at visual organization, composition and development. It gave me a hunger to create that still fuels me today. Rudolf Arnheim is often overlooked as a pusher of modernist thinking and perhaps that he is maybe out of style or old school, this is SO untrue. Yes, he is from the modernist era and references many artists from that era because of wh ...more
Lukasz
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone who reads this book in its entirety is guaranteed to wind up appreciating (and even 'understanding') abstract modernist art- I know I did. Contrary to what someone said here I would say this stuff does sink in- mainly because Arnheim managed to present his observations clearly, and illustrated them convincingly with visuals, in the form of reproductions or explanatory sketches by the author himself.

Arnheim's book will equip its readers with not just a vocabulary, but a whole grammar for
...more
Damien
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very similar to Visual Thinking, but a bit broader and contends with sociological & cultural considerations within the history of Art and science. Not quite as condensed, as Visual Thinking is essays, but a much deeper and more interesting book overall. ...more
Kitty
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to have Prof. Arnheim at University of Michigan the year after his revised edition of this book came out. It was a life-changer for me. I had no idea that 25 years later I would become a docent at the art museum. Seeing, is a creative act... one we require and associate with understanding. His opening sentence of the introduction is as true today as it was in 1954 or 1974.
Art may seem to be in danger of being drowned by talk. "The inborn capacity to understand through the eyes
...more
Stephen
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This is a textbook slog. But so worth it. As a non-artist (trained in the sciences), this opened my eyes to the many things that are surely fundamental to practicing artists as regards composition. And I see the value of formalism in art, particularly in its teaching as a craft. But as a lover of art, I also see the danger. I am wary of crushing the pure joy of discovery under a heavy pile of nuanced theory and rigid comparative analysis. As a life-long “visceralis ...more
Sarah
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذا كتاب أقل ما يقال أنه رائع ، يفسر كثير من الجوانب المتعلقة بالابداع البصري ، ،وهو مرجع ممتاز في مجاله
Sarah Galvin
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
A perennial favorite!
Max Viana
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-making
First thing you got to know about this book is that's a college textbook, so it's thick, dense, deep and specially hard, not in a bad sense, it's just that some paragraphs contain so much information that you have to read them again a few times before feeling you actually got what the author was trying to convey.

Aside from that, it's a great book it has a lot of research backed statements and solid cohesiveness of argument. It's probably better to read in college a context with a class and teach
...more
Alik
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, non-fiction, english, usa
Relentlessly, fastidiously and with great precision Arnheim shows how visual art works, the intricate rules of the interplay of the machine of our perception and the physical object we (or others) call work of art.
Apart from the obvious, Arnheim also shows that all those words art critics seem to use indiscriminately do have--indeed have to have--definite meaning, and so makes it possible to discriminate between true insight and bullshit buried under flashy adjectives and incoherent abstractions
...more
Maria
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book required the double effort from me, since English is not my native language, but it help me build all my creative thinking and visual creativity from scratch in order to be able to "save" it in mind. At the end of the semester we took an exam on this book. 100/100
Matthew
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A silly book. Attempts to say quite a lot. And does. But at what cost? This book could be shorter and lose nothing.
Dimi Tsioumbris
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very strong book, this is a work of Genius!
Book Reviewer
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic
Oleg Vovchuk
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Тяжелое чтиво, еле осилил... Но, полезное...
Mochammad Yusni
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice book with interesting content. A must read for anyone who teaches or pursues art and architecture.
John
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful insight into our artist look of our world as we see it through our eyes and mind. A wonderful book that has views from both artist and scientist on the subject of sight and art...and where the two meet. Also the psychology of viewing art is given unique attention with clear examples of theory of our perception of our world around us.
I found it easy to read and a book worth taking my time to go through so don't be daunted by its size, one can read and put it down and pick it up at a
...more
Eleanor
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot say enough good about this book. I finished it and wanted to start all over again. For someone who took only one more than the required Art classes in HS (mumble years ago), this was a godsend. I do wish Mrs Garber in Freshman Art Survey had bothered to impart even a smidgin of the information crammed into this book. I am going to purchase a copy. It's a bible for anyone who considers themselves any kind of artist in any visual media.
Pau Goñi
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cambió para siempre la forma en la que aprecio el arte. Es realmente para subrayar, marcar y anotar los temas porque sirven muchísimo, en especial para los que estudiamos carrera afines al diseño y el arte.
Khoi
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Bible for all things visual and creative. Wonderful guide, accessory and even pillow at times for wide-eyed struggling art history buffs. I would have given it 5 stars had it not been my assigned text. Very big and bulky, hard to carry around.
Tooba
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read it in College for a course...found that it seminal in how I looked at and processed the world around me. You can say that it helped me appreciate the intellectual life, instead of snearing at it from my anti-establishment, anti-conformist, angsty "punk rock" attitude as a teen.
Dickson
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Classic, but like Classic Coke, there can be too much of a good thing. In the hands of artists, well, like academic art classes, they may want to study it and then forget it.
Carmen Martinez
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If not the bible per se the New Testament for designers. A consulting guide for any kind of visual expression artist.
Khulan
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i dont know because i dont read this book. i want to this book




Brian Bulfer
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good reference book
samkap
This book is great but practically the longest sentence ever.
Michael Mentler
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read but a necessary one
Tony
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew!
Eduardo Sánchez
Libro básico para entender la percepción que tenemos sobre el arte y perfecto para darnos el conocimiento necesario al visitar una exhibición.
Dreamer
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As an artist I find this book is a must read. It's difficult but essential.
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Rudolf Arnheim (1904–2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist. He learned Gestalt psychology from studying under Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler at the University of Berlin and applied it to art. His magnum opus was his book Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (1954). Other major books by Arnheim have included Visual Thinking (19 ...more

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