A Book of Colour - June '93
Drawing on a long, rich and varied artistic career, the legendary Derek Jarman explores colour from medieval to modern art with the distinctive combination of passion, insight and style that characterizes his work.
In Chroma, Derek Jarman explains the use of colour in Medieval painting through the Renaissance to the modernists and draws on the great colour theorists from Pliny to Leonardo. He also talks about the meaning of colours in literature, science, philosophy, psychology, religion and alchemy. The colours on Jarman's palette are mixed with memory and insight to create an evocative and highly personal work.
“Chroma is more than an Aids autobiography...it is a paean to colour...Shot through with sass and moving testimony...this complexly written, yet stylish and readable book locates most powerfully the sublimal brilliance of one artist and the processes that inform, and are celebrated through, his work”
“Chroma sparks off pieces of Jarman's poetry and prose against fragments that span Ovid, Alberti, Goethe and Wittgenstein...to form a highly personal reflection on colour, a keleidoscopic experience that throws out different facets like a prism in the light”
“Jarman reminds us how much there is to be smelled, observed and listened to in the world if we do not walk past it”
“The context of the writing of this book inevitably turns it from an amusing bricollage to a gesture of extraordinary generosity, a tribute to the continuing need to create and communicate on the very edge of darkness”