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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 groundbreaking theoretician in the fields of art and psychology.
Difficult, but essential
As an artist, I find this book a must read. It's difficult, but essential.
It was pivotal in opening my mind to a multifaceted way of looking at visual organization, composition, and development. I also gained a strong vocabulary for talking and thinking about paintings from any chosen era- an invaluable skill for anyone who falls in love with a particular painting but doesn't know why or how to explain it to others. In the way that The Painter's Secret Geometry developed my appreciate for the classics, this book helped me understand Modern art.