Chromophilia: Investigations in Color (PAI4215.01)

Ann Pibal

Chromophilia, a term coined by contemporary artist David Batchelor, refers to intense passion and love for color. What is it about color that has the power to induce reverie, and conversely to manipulate, or disgust? How does color work? What is the role of color in painting? In language? How do we understand and respond to color from phenomenological, poetic, philosophical, and societal vantage points? How as artists can we become effective stewards of our passionately-loved and yet ever-shifting chroma?

In this class, we look carefully at and discuss the work of many artists, primarily painters, and the implications of color in their images. Wide-ranging readings from literature, philosophy, and cultural criticism, serve as a base for discussion and artistic response.

Visual work for the first weeks of class consists of intensive color problems using cut paper; in subsequent weeks, students solve problems presented in class using painting, or any other color-abled media.

Reading and written responses are assigned weekly. Class time is primarily used for discussion of texts, critique of visual work, and student presentations of research. Assignments are given throughout, however, it is the objective of this class to provide the skills necessary for the student to confidently pursue self-designed projects. A high degree of motivation is expected.


Learning Outcomes:
- Increased perceptual awareness of color (see the world like never before thought possible!!!)

- Increased awareness of the implications of color within social, historical, political, and theoretical contexts.

- Experience of ambitious, fully dedicated engagement with studio practice.

- Increased sophistication with ability to contextualize individual studio work verbally and in writing.

- Increased ability to participate constructively in collective energy and shared responsibility for a supportive group learning environment.

- Focused practice with inclusive classroom conversation particularly as it pertains to the discussion of the artwork of classmates, the analysis of contemporary art, and the analysis of popular and academic texts.

- Increased ability to become constructively self-critical and to incorporate feedback of others into analysis of one’s own studio work.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: At least two courses in visual art at Bennington, and/or permission of Instructor through application process. On or before May 10, 2022: Interested students should send an email with CHROMOPHILIA in the subject line outlining their experience level, their interest in the course, and how this course relates to their Plan of study.
Corequisites: VALS, suggested - not required.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: Fully In-Person , Painting , Visual Arts (VA) , All courses
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