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Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order // Rudolf Arnheim

Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order // Rudolf Arnheim

40th Anniversary Edition 2010, University of California Press, 72 pages

#arttheory #entropy #order # rudolfarnheim #classics

"Arnheim was the best kind of romantic. His wisdom, his patient explanations and lyrical enthusiasm are those of a teacher."

New York Times

"The psychology of art is never as easy as a-b-c, but this book avoids the general obtuseness of such treatises. It will give your mind a good honing."

Art Direction

"Suitably unpretentious and fragmentarily brilliant in the interplay of elements from the author's vast reading and experience of experimental psychology."


"This essay is an attempt to reconcile the disturbing contradiction between the striving for order in nature and in man and the principle of entropy implicit in the second law of thermodynamics; between the tendency toward greater organization and the general trend of the material universe toward death and disorder. Viewing the problem cosmically, Arnheim discusses the operation of these conflicting forces in physics, philosophy and physiology, and in two diametrically opposed tendencies in modern art: one towards extreme simplicity of structure, the other towards dissolution and disorder . . . The application of Arnheim's formulation to the area of artistic creation ay become a stabilizing positive influence in the present state of confusion."

Library Journal

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