Luminous and the Grey
Color is a given of most people’s everyday lives, but at the same time it lies at the limits of language and understanding. David Batchelor’s previous book for ReaktionChromophobiaaddressed the extremes of love and loathing that color has provoked since classical antiquity. In The Luminous and the Grey Batchelor explores similar territory, but charts more ambiguous terrain.
The Luminous and the Grey is a study of the places where color comes into being and where it fades away; an enquiry about when color begins and when it ends, both in the imagination and in the material world. Batchelor draws on a wide range of materialfrom neuroscience, philosophy, novels and movies; from the writings of artists and from his own experience as an artist who has worked with color for more than twenty years
After considering the place of color in creation myths, in industrial chemistry, in recent thinking on optics and in the particular forms of luminosity that saturate the modern city, the book culminates in a meditation on the unique color that is also a non-color, a mood, a feeling, an existential condition, and even an insult: grey.