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Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hoffman



Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hofmann brings together the man, the schools, the painting, the ideas, and the teaching. Jed Perl of The New Republic calls this book "enormously important... nothing less than the missing chapter in the history of the period," for Hofmann's decade of painting in Paris prior to World War I, combined with his observations of the masters of all cultures, enabled him to explain Cubism to the avant-garde and catalyzed the later Abstract Expressionism.

In the ateliers of German emigrant Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) in Munich, New York and Provincetown, talented students later to become some of the most significant artists and educators of the time rubbed shoulders with critics, collectors, and curators, who in turn transmitted and transmuted Hofmann s ideas across Europe, America, Canada, and beyond. From how Hofmann taught to what he taught, artists talk shop about the inner workings of the visual language, required reading for those engaged in creative composition, whether visual, verbal, musical, architectural, cinematic, or choreographic.

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“In nature, light creates the color; in the picture, color creates light.”
–Hans Hoffman

Hans Hoffman

More than ‘color inspiration,’ looking to fine art is a dynamic way to experience color. Hans Hoffman exemplifies the word “colorist.” This book offers an in-depth exploration of his theories of color as well as gain as sense of the man—his life, teaching, and art work—in a biography. Also included are many illustrations of work by other artists, some of whom were his students.

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Carlo Scarpa



Lavishly illustrated volume.
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Check out the ColorViews Blog post for more about this subject.


Got Color? No More Neutrals…Get Gaudi!

A long winter..”neutrals” got you down? Fret no longer, Get energized with Gaudi.

Antonio Gaudi

No, it's not a dragon—it's a building. From: Complete works: Gaudi / by Aurora Cuito, Cristina Montes. This image from the book is by Pere Planells

Exquisite photography and detailed descriptions of sites provide a compelling entree into the Gaudi world. As an architectural color consultant I particularly enjoy Gaudi’s bold, personal style of color in architecture. I’m happy to have the English edition so I can actually read the text!

Next stop…Barcelona!



Antonio Gaudi: Complete Works (Paperback)

By (author): Aurora Cuito

Book by Cuito, Aurora
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Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe


Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe (Paperback)

By (author): Margaret Courtney-Clarke

For generations, the women of the Ndebele of southern Afrcia have produced an art of remarkable richness and vitality. In their ceremonial beadwork and in large murals that cover the exterior walls of their mud dwellings, these women have created designs that are at once ancient and modern in their simplicity, bright colours and abstract patterns.
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Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama.

This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them.


The Ultimate Painted House(s):are you ready for this?

Are you ready for this?Tribal art in South Africa - an inspiration
Beadwork and Painting of the Ndebele women.      Click on the image to go to our Design Library, where you can order this book.

Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama.

This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them.

I could not say it better, so will quote from the statement of Nadine Gordimer on the book’s flyleaf.

“Margaret Courtney-Clarke’s book is a revelation…of a glorious continued existence, under the most destructive forms of physical and psychological hardship imaginable, of an artistic culture at the very center of life itself.  The art of the Ndebele women is uniquely rooted in that guardianship; its canvas is the shrine of the home, where children are conceived and reared and family life is housed in the spirit.  The beauty of this book is unsurpassed in its combination of content and meaning. Its art is also the art of life.

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Creating a New Old House

Filed under: Architecture,Blog,Books — Barbara Jacobs @ 1:30 pm


At the beginning of the new century, there's a groundswell of popular nostalgia for period houses with an authentic pedigree. Regional styles of old homes in all parts of the country have captured the imagination of homebuyers who are disillusioned with the cookie-cutter sameness of new home construction. Many are turning to the history and tradition of their own neighborhoods for inspiration in old houses--themes that will inspire and inform them in building a new home that will preserve a sense of place and the feeling of "home."
Creating a New Old House explores how architects, builders, and craftsmen are reinterpreting the traditional American house. Through photographs and engaging text, brief discussions of history and craftsmanship, and occasional sidelong glances at the workings of real old houses, Versaci employs his "Pillars of Traditional Design" to explain how traditional houses go together and what gives them their unique design appeal. The author explores the creative work of architects, builders, and craftsmen from all corners of America who are creating new "old" houses in a revival of the distinctive traditions of American homebuilding--and refitting them to work for the demands of modern family living.
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Here’s a beautiful new addition to the IntegralColor Design Library.
Please remember that all book in the design library are in alphabetical order!

Loving old houses for all that is lovable about them—the warmth, style, charm, sense of history, integrity of design—and wanting to translate that to a new building, is not a particularly easy task.

Subtitled “Yesterday’s Character for Today’s Homes,” this beautiful volume by Russell Versaci with photographs by Erik Kvalsvik will be a welcome addition to your own design library and a great reference for your home design projects.


Blue – The History of a Color

Filed under: Architecture,Art,Books,Color and Culture,Color History — Tags: , , — Barbara Jacobs @ 2:23 pm

Blue: The History of a Color. (Hardcover)

By (author): Michel Pastoureau

Blue has a long and topsy-turvy history in the Western world. Once considered a hot color, it is now icy cool. The ancient Greeks scorned it as ugly and barbaric, but most Americans and Europeans now pick it as their favorite color. In this entertaining history, the renowned medievalist Michel Pastoureau traces the changing meanings of blue from its rare appearances in prehistoric art to its international ubiquity today in blue jeans and Gauloises cigarette packs.

Any history of color is, above all, a social history. Pastoureau investigates how the ever-changing role of blue in society has been reflected in manuscripts, stained glass, heraldry, clothing, paintings, and popular culture. Beginning with the almost total absence of blue from ancient Western art and language, the story moves to medieval Europe. As people began to associate blue with the Virgin Mary, the color entered the Church despite the efforts of chromophobic prelates. Blue was reborn as a royal color in the twelfth century and functioned as a formidable political and military force through the French Revolution. As blue triumphed in the modern era, new shades were created, and blue became the color of romance. Finally, Pastoureau follows blue into contemporary times, when military clothing gave way to the everyday uniform of blue jeans, and blue became the universal and unifying color of the Earth as seen from space.

With an exceptionally elegant design and strikingly illustrated with one hundred color plates, Blue tells the fascinating history of our favorite color and the cultures that have hated it, loved it, and created great art with it.

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Looking into the history of any color is fascinating, and in BLUE, Michel Pastoureau has created a beautiful book that is rewarding for it’s own aesthetic qualities, both visual and functional (yes, the binding is really stitched and the book lays open at any page!).

As for content, the color illustrations taken from a variety of historic documents serve to make the educational text entertaining as well as informative.


Color in Three-Dimensional Design

Filed under: Architecture,Books,Interior Design — Barbara Jacobs @ 10:02 am


Color in Three-Dimensional Design explores all of color's facets, from associative elements and mechanics to psychology and color's impact on form and identity. The emphasis is on integration of color with form in ways that strengthen overall design concept. Written by highly respected architectural and interior design professional Jeanne Kopacz -- also an exceptional design instructor -- this resource helps you build an unbeatable set of analytic and problem-solving tools for meeting design challenges with cost-effective color solutions.
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Boston area architectural and interior designer Jeanne Kopacz brings a well-rounded and complete approach to the title’s subject, with the emphasis on how color affects all areas of the design process. I was delighted to be a resource for the section on Visual Color Mixing.


Creating Curb Appeal

Filed under: Architecture,Books,Exterior Color — Tags: , , — Barbara Jacobs @ 2:33 pm

Creating Curb Appeal (Paperback)

By (author): Michelle Valigursky, Lisa Vail

This guide helps you create personality and presence for your home. Take a visual tour of architectural styles and design schemes with vitality and impact. 300 full-color photographs and well-researched text explore design elements from lighting, color, and landscaping, to doors, windows, paths, driveways, and accessories. Take cues from the country's foremost residential design professionals that demystify design terminology, expose trade secrets, and offer expert advice, ideas, and solutions. Get information on the professionals and products essential to your successful front-of-the-home transformation.
Discover and magnify the design impact of your home's front spaces.
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In tough real estate times we need all the help we can get in making our homes attractive. Creating Curb Appeal by Michelle Valigursky & Lisa Vail, with photography by Theresa M. Grant, is a beautiful and affordable resource for anyone interesting in creating a beautiful home exterior. I’m pleased to have been included in the Living with Color chapter of this publication!


Color – Communication in Architectural Space



Colors are an element of both the natural and the man-made environments. They convey messages of all kinds and perform a wide variety of functions, informing, organizing, warning. But they also serve an aesthetic purpose, affecting the statement, effect, and acceptance of objects and spaces. While peoples reactions to color vary widely, in design questions it is still possible to establish generally valid color concepts to match the expectations of the various groups of users. This book offers a guide based on a wide range of scientific findings and may be consulted as an authoritative reference by the architecture student and the professional alike. The three editors, Dr. B. Rodeck, Prof. G. Meerwein, and F. H. Mahnke have taught for many years at the Salzburger Seminare für Farbe und Umwelt der IACC.
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In this recent followup to Frank Mahnke’s first book, he collaborates with colleagues Gerhard Meerwein and Bettina Rodeck , presenting this comprehensive approach to using color in architecture. The focus is on the physiological, psychological and neurophysological aspects of using color in the built environment.



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