Chromophobia – a fear of corruption or contamination through colour – has lurked within Western culture since ancient times. In Western culture, colour has often been reviled as foreign, feminine, infantile, vulgar, or else relegated to the realm of the superficial, the inessential, or the cosmetic.
In this broad-ranging lecture, artist and writer David Batchelor explores 19th- and 20th-century ideas about colour and its association with the Oriental and the exotic. He considers Delacroix's sensuous palette, the writings of Baudelaire, and his own artistic responses to this perceived Western ambivalence to colour.
Image above: David Batchelor, 'Magic Hour', 2004-07, 320 x 267 x 30cm. Installation view 'Light Show', Hayward Gallery, 2013 © the artist 2016, photo by Marcus J Leith, courtesy the artist, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, and Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo.