The Split And The Structure / Edition 1

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Rudolf Arnheim's great forte is his ability to illuminate the perceptual processes that go into the making and reception of artworks—painting, sculpture, architecture, and film. Over the years, his pioneering mode of "reading" art from a unique scientific/philosophic perspective has garnered him an established and devoted audience. That audience will take pleasure in Arnheim's most recent collection of essays, one that covers a range of topics and includes titles such as "Outer Space and Inner Space," "What Is an Aesthetic Fact?," "As I Saw Children's Art," "Two Ways of Being Human," "Consciousness—an Island of Images," and "From Chaos to Wholeness."

The notion of structure is Arnheim's guide in these explorations. Most of the essays examine the nature of structure affirmatively: how it comes about, its incentives and objectives, its celebration of perfection. He is interested in how artists grope for structure to shape powerful, enlightening images, and how a scientist's search for truth is a search for structure.

Writing with enviable clarity, even when deploying complex arguments, Arnheim makes it easy and exciting to follow him as he thinks. America is not abundantly supplied with "public intellectuals" such as Rudolf Arnheim—to have his writings with us is cause for celebration.

"The word 'structure' appears for good reason in the title of this collection. . . . Structure seems to be needed as an arbiter wherever this civilization of ours is split by selfish interests and fighting for either/or decisions. The essays want to speak with the voice of reason, because they want to show how the parts require the whole."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this collection of articles reprinted from a variety of journals, prominent cultural critic Arnheim covers a wide range of topics in pursuit of connections between psychology and art. Included are essays on dance, architecture, children's and handicapped persons' art, playwriting, visual thinking, symbolism, and more. As is typical of Arnheim's writing, the essays allude to numerous cultural icons and his own and others' earlier writings, requiring the reader to have prior knowledge. Though each of these pieces outlines an interesting thesis, the brief space allotted (mostly under five pages) allows for little development. Recommended for research libraries and special collections.Kathryn Wekselman, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520204782
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/17/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Rudolf Arnheim is Professor Emeritus of the Psychology of Art at Harvard University. For many years he was a member of the Psychology Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, and he spent his last ten academic years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he now lives.
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Table of Contents

The Split and the Structure 3
Learning by What Is Around 13
Two Sources of Cognition 17
The Two Authenticities of the Photographic Media 24
The Way of the Crafts 33
Outer Space and Inner Space 42
Inside and Outside in Architecture 45
Drawings in Design 52
Notes on Religious Architecture 57
What Is an Aesthetic Fact? 65
From Pleasure to Contemplation 73
The Symbolism of Light 78
A God's Perfection 83
Gauguin's Homage to Honesty 85
The Echo of the Mountain 92
Deus ex Machina 97
A Maverick in Art History 104
Learning by Looking and Thinking 113
As I Saw Children's Art 120
Artistry in Retardation 126
A System of Expressive Movement 133
The Face and the Mind behind It 139
Consciousness - an Island of Images 144
Form as Creation 151
From Chaos to Wholeness 156
Two Ways of Being Human 165
Lemonade and the Perceiving Mind 169
The Dynamics of Problem Solving 174
Acknowledgments 179
Index 181
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