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Colour Reading
The concept that "the simpler the form of a letter the easier it is to read" was an obsession in early constructivism. It became a kind of dogma, still continued by "modernist” typographers today ...
However, this idea has been proved false, because when reading we don´t read letters but words, each word as a whole, as a "word picture". This was discovered in psychology, particularly the psychology of Gestalt ...
Without going into too much detail, it has been noted that words comprising of entirely uppercase letters present greater difficulty when reading because they are equal in height, volume and, in most cases, width. Compared to Roman letters, block letters (or block capitals) , give a more inaccurate reading, the fashion for block letters in texts doesn´t meet any historical or practical criteria ...
In musical compositions, if we listen to isolated notes or tones we don´t hear the music.
Listening to music depends on the appreciation between tones, placement and spacing.
In writing, the skill of spelling has nothing to do with the understanding of poetry ....
We can hear an isolated tone.
But very rarely (or at least without special equipment) can we see an isolated colour, disconnected and detached from other colours.
Colours are presented to us in a continuous flow, constantly connected to adjacent colours, in shifting and changing conditions.
Consequently, this shows that when reading colour , what Kandinsky often called for when reading art: what counts is not what, but how.

Face Colour
Colour is the most relative medium employed in art.
It has been found that certain colours are resistant to change, whilst others are more susceptible to change.
We try to find colours that are more likely to influence and distinguish them from those which are influenced.
...There are colour influence modifiers which operate in two directions, on one hand brightness and on the other hue. They occur simultaneously, albeit with varying strength.

Colour Subtraction
That a colour can play many different roles is a well known fact which is consciously applied.
Less well known is the possibility ... of giving a colour an appearance from the background it is given.
Even more exciting is the task ... to make two different colours look the same.
The more different ... the background, the stronger its changing influence.
... colour differences are caused by two factors: the hue and brightness, and in most cases simultaneously.
... You can, by the use of contrasts, "run" the brightness and / or colour tone from how it first appears to its opposite qualities.
As this practically amounts to adding opposite qualities, there is still the possibility of achieving a parallel effect by the subtraction of unwanted qualities.
Any background takes its tone from the colours that it supports, and in those that most influence, the brightness of the background substracts in the same way from their tone... From this it follows that any diversity between colours in either hue or the relationship of light and dark, can be reduced, if not visually eliminated on backgrounds of the same qualities.

Colour Deception?
As a result of the nerve endings in the human retina (rods and cones) we are ready for one of the three primary colours.
Staring fixedly, at red, weakens the sensitive parts of that colour, until its sudden move to white (integrated at the same time with red, yellow and blue) only giving the mixture of yellow and blue. And that mix makes green, the complementary colour to red. The fact that the persistant image or simultaneous contrast is a psycho-physiological phenomenon shows that no normal eye, even the most trained, is safe from the chromatic deception.

Colour Space Illusion
one: Under normal conditions, a mix of substractions is not as light as the lightest of the original colours or as dark as the darkest. In addition, the mixture is respectively neither stronger nor weaker in intensity than the original chromatic colours.
Two: The mix depends on the ratios used in the mixing of colours. Different amounts of blue and yellow, for example, define the character of a green. This indicates the possibility of predominance of one original colour.
Three:. In studies of transparency, when one colour is placed above or below another, we see a third deception: the illusion of space
In exercising the comparison and distinction of colour boundaries an important new step is found in order to read the plastic action of a colour, ie the spatial organization of colour.
As the softer limits reveal a closeness that implies a connection so the stronger indicate distance, separation.
... The colours ... are read in terms of here and there, further and further and on into space.

Optical colour mixing
Instead of two (or more) colors which reciprocally modify, "pulling" from each another or “pushing" towards different appearances (towards greater difference or greater similarity), here two colors (or more) , collected simultaneously, are combined and therefore merged into one new colour. In this process, the first two original colours are cancelled out and made invisible, and then replaced by a substitute colour called optical mixing.

Colour Intervals
Though not always, it is also possible to speak of intervals between colours. Colours and hues are defined as are musical tones by their wavelength.
All colours (shade or tint) possess two dominant features: colour intensity (shine) and light intensity (brightness). Therefore, colour ranges have this dual aspect, this duality.

Colour Harmony
Colour schemes often lead us to the conclusion that certain configurations within a scheme provide chromatic harmony. They signal that this is the main objective and purpose of the colour scheme, the juxtaposition of colours.
Just as harmony and harmonization are also a concern in music, so it seems inevitable and appropriate to draw a parallel between the effects of musical tone combinations those of colour combinations. While the comparison of colour tone mixtures is very interesting it should be noted that, although at times uselful, it can often be misleading.
This is due to the different basic conditions of one or other part that translates into different behaviour.
Musical tones are placed predominantly in time order from before to now and then after.
Their juxtaposition within a musical composition are seen only in a preset sequence. In a vertical sense, that is to say, one tone, or several simultaneously, sound for a variable but limited time. Horizontally, the tones follow each other, and although not necessarily in a straight line, they are in a pre-established order and move in one single direction: forward. Previously heard tones fade, and those that are left behind disappear, vanish. They are not heard from before or after.
Colours are predominantly related to space. Therefore, the configurations can be seen in any direction and at any speed. And as they stay we can return to them repeatedly in many ways.
This permanence or non-permanence, or vanishing and disappearing , shows us there is only one essential difference between the fields of music and colour.
Tonal juxtapositions can be defined by their acoustic connection, and therefore measured accurately in terms of wavelength.
Colour can also be measured, at least to some extent, particularly when presented as a spot of direct colour: in terms of optical wavelength.
However, the colour reflected from paints and pigments ... is much more difficult to define.
When analyzed with an electronic spectrograph the colour reflected shows that it contains all the visible wavelengths. So ... is composed of all other colors.
In practical application, colour not only appears in countless shades and tints, but is also characterized by shape and size, recurrence and location, etc., of which shape and size in particular are not directly applicable to musical tones.
All this perhaps explains why all colour compositions escape, by their very nature, a schematic record to that of notation for music and choreography for dance.
In addition to the quantity, shape and recurrence, there are more generic aspects that further exert ulterior modifying influences. These aspects are: variable and variety of light, and even worse, several simultaneous lights, the reflection of light and colour, the direction and sequence of reading, the presentation in various materials, constant or fluctuating juxtaposition of related and unrelated objects .
For this and other visual movements, it is not surprising that the effect of the attractive, original colour combination, the "ideal", often appears altered, lost and inverted.
Searching for colour organization , new colour design, we have reached the conclusion that the amount, intensity or weight, like the beginning of research can lead to illusions, new relationships, different measures, other systems, in the same way as transparency, space and intersection.
Besides the balance of colour harmony, which is comparable to symmetry, there is a balance between possible colour tension, which means a more dynamic symmetry.

Josef Albers. Interaction color. Alianza Form. Madrid 2010
 
 
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JOSEF ALBERS 1888-1976
120.6*120,6. Oil on Masonite
HOMENAGE TO THE SQUARE: APPARITION 1959

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