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Psychology Of Perception

  While a formalist approach to art analyses the work in terms of objectively measurable factors, such as volume, mass and colour, the psychology of perception recognizes the limitation of this approach: namely that such reductivism fails to consider the reactions of each individual viewer, which will always ‘colour’ perception of the work. Placing the onus of perception upon the eye rather than the brain of the viewer may suggest that the response to works of art must always be eternal, because it is dependent upon physiology rather than upon ideology. Not so, says E.H. Gombrich, whose influential book Art and Illusion demonstrates that, while the eye will of course respond mechanically, perception in a broader sense is not mechanical, but is culturally determined. MG PD

Further reading R.N. Haber, The Psychology of Visual Perception.



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