Rudolf Arnheim

Rudolf Arnheim (July 15, 1904 – June 9, 2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist. He learned Gestalt psychology from studying under Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler at the University of Berlin and applied it to art. His magnum opus was his book ''Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye'' (1954). Other major books by Arnheim have included ''Visual Thinking'' (1969), and ''The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts'' (1982). ''Art and Visual Perception'' was revised, enlarged and published as a new version in 1974, and it has been translated into fourteen languages. He lived in Germany, Italy, England, and America where he taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. He has greatly influenced art history and psychology in America.

In ''Art and Visual Perception'', Arnheim tries to use science to better understand art. In his later book ''Visual Thinking'' (1969), Arnheim critiques the assumption that language goes before perception. For Arnheim, the only access to reality we have is through our senses. Arnheim also argues that perception is strongly identified with thinking, and that artistic expression is another way of reasoning. In ''The Power of the Center'', Arnheim addresses the interaction of art and architecture on concentric and grid spatial patterns. He argues that form and content are indivisible, and that the patterns created by artists reveal the nature of human experience.
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