1986: New Essays on the Psychology of Art.
New Essays on the Psychology of Art
How is the psychology of art related to photography? When I mention the psychology of art, many people may think it is a type of experimental psychology that studies human perception of color and composition, which would seem to have a natural connection to photography. Interestingly enough, the arguably most well-known psychologist of art, Rudolf Arnheim, is not an experimental psychologist. With the exception of his dissertation and one or two other writings, he has never published an experimental study (Verstegen, 1996). Instead, throughout his career he has "philosophized" a psychology of art. Arnheim, a German immigrant to America, studied psychology at the University of Berlin during the 1920s. At that time psychology was considered a branch of philosophy (Behrens, 1998).
New essays on the psychology of art by Rudolf Arnheim ..
The objective of this article is to introduce and criticize Arnheim's "philosophical/psychological" view of photography. To comprehend his view of photography, a general overview of his psychology of art is essential also. "Dynamic" expression is the theme of Arnheim's theory. In his theory, the more visual tensions an artist presents, the more dynamic expression the work carries. Arnheim believes that photography is not as dynamic as painting because photography is too environment-driven to grasp the essence of a subject or express the authentic personality of a model. In the following, I will outline the fundamental concepts of Arnheim's theory and give a brief critique to some of his views.