Read Chroma by Derek Jarman Online


Chroma is a meditation on the color spectrum by the celebrated late artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman. From the explosions of image and color in In The Shadow of the Sun, The Last of England, The Garden and Wittgenstein, to the somber blacks of his collages and tar paintings, Jarman has consistently used color in unprecedented ways, making his ideas on the subject of interChroma is a meditation on the color spectrum by the celebrated late artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman. From the explosions of image and color in In The Shadow of the Sun, The Last of England, The Garden and Wittgenstein, to the somber blacks of his collages and tar paintings, Jarman has consistently used color in unprecedented ways, making his ideas on the subject of interest to filmmakers, film audiences, artists and students alike. Blue, his most personal and innovative film, consists of a compelling soundtrack accompanied by a monochrome blue image and is, among other things, a comment on Jarman's diminishing eyesight due to AIDS. In his signature style, a lyrical combination of classical theory, anecdote, and poetry, Jarman takes the reader through the spectrum, introducing each color as an embodiment of an emotion, evoking memories or dreams. He explains the use of color in Medieval painting through the Renaissance to the modernists and draws on the great color theorists from Pliny to Leonardo. He writes too about the meanings of color in literature, science, philosophy, psychology, religion and alchemy. Read either as a work on color, or a distillation of Jarman's artistic vision, Chroma presents an exciting perspective on the subject....

Title : Chroma
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780879516796
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Chroma Reviews

  • Nathalie
    2019-05-02 17:50

    Beautiful meditations on colour, and a love-letter to sight and the richness of the world written as Jarman was on the verge of leaving it.

  • Isabel
    2019-05-13 17:36

    This was very beautiful really. Sometimes a mess, but whatever ways it was scattered and fragmented only enhanced the whole, refracting ideas about colour and what it can evoke.

  • Katie
    2019-05-10 18:25

    Doing research in high school for my term paper on trees -- yes i was quite the hippie -- i found a book called Chroma, written by an english artist/poet named Derek Jarman. The book is so pretty and full of emotion. Each chapter is a color and it seems to just be feeling, desire, and memories associated with those colors. Derek Jarman died of AIDS and it shows in his chapter "seeing red" where he does lose his vision in the end, this heartbreaking for an artist. The chapters are just snipets here and there with no real order. I loved reading it so much that i never gave it back. The book is out of print so i really didnt want to give it back even after i took a job working at the very place i took it from.

  • vi macdonald
    2019-05-17 18:37


  • Pere Coughlan
    2019-05-17 20:40

    Like the bright burst of a firework before dying out, Chroma is a frantic goodbye kiss to colour by an artist whose vision and life were withering in his fight against HIV. A former painter, Jarman had lived in the use of colour and was voraciously curious about how it had been used in the past, the history of color, semantically, chemically, romantically, politically... Also bringing us a perspective of color attached to him being HIV positive, and the harsh reality it entailed.

  • Edwin Miles
    2019-04-27 13:44

    Meditative, personal, and amazingly borrows Jarman's filmmaking style - segmented and disconnected from itself, a meandering series of thoughts brought together in beautiful, isolated fragments.

  • Jon
    2019-05-03 20:47

    I read this as part of a book group. The first book group I've been a member of, the first book group book. What appealed was that I was vaguely aware of Jarman. I'd heard of his films like 'Jubilee' and his house and garden in Dungness ('Prospect Cottage'). I knew he was 'different', but not a lot more.His being different is reflected in this book. It's different to most books, in that it doesn't have a clear narrative. There's a thread running through it which his failing health from AIDS, particularly his loss of sight. (The book was written in '93, he died in '94.) But mostly, it's a series of chapters, each focusing on a different colour (or a person/area strongly associated to colour) and featuring snippets of historical text, anecodtes, thoughts, memories. A real pot pourri.I enjoyed the chapters on colour. It brought home how powerful colour is in triggering memories and making associations with people, places, emotions.Most of all, I liked Jarman. I liked his intellect and his insight. Also, through the passages about his illness, I admired his courage, bravery, indepence and spirit. I found it inspiring.I suspect this books isn't for all. But if you appreciate art and/or nature, want to immerse yourself in the nature and meaning of colour, plus want to get to know more about Jarman, then I'd recommend this book.***MY NOTESWhat follows are my notes/jottings on the book. Maybe best not to read if you want a 'fresh' read! Although there isn't really an ending to give away!Favourite quotes:"Only dull and impotent artists screen their work with sincerity. In art there is a need for truth not sincerity" (Kasimir Malevich, Essays on Art)Jarman calls Pliny on colour eloquent because of his "insatiable curiosity", but also that "he put himself and his prejudices so strongly into his writing". Jarman does the same."I'm told I'm living on the fringes of society, but what if the world were awry?""Leonardo's curiosity to examine the natural world is his gift. He wrote of nothing he had not observed." Jarman's writing is very much rooted in observation. Of course, through his own particular filter!"My mind bright as a button, but my body falling apart - a naked light bulb in a dark and ruined room."

  • Susan Rose
    2019-05-13 16:36

    This is a non fiction part memoir, part meditative poetry; book long essay on colours by the British filmmaker artist and activist Derek Jarman. This stream of consciousness work that talks about history, culture art and Jarmans own interpretations of colours as his eyesight was beginning to degenerate due to AIDS. You would think this would make this wok angry or sad and some parts certainly are but others are informative and playful. (Jarman also extended the chapter of this book on Blue into a movie called Blue that I highly recommend you check out).I have personally been obsessed with colours and both the meanings different cultures ascribe them throughout history for a long time and also individual meanings we ascribe to them for all my life, so in many ways this is a perfect book for me. However if this book sounds interesting to you or you have enjoyed any of Jarman’s other works,( in particular his other memoirs) I would heartily recommend it to you.

  • Ronan Doyle
    2019-05-17 15:40

    There was a moment here where my eyes began to well, and I might have started to weep had I not burst into laughter at a little throwaway line. Jarman's candid writing is profoundly sad and pervasively funny, the ideal outlet for a stark wit and soulful outlook. He is not easy to read, not least of all for the death that seems any instant likely to befall him. But the bloat and bagginess of the prose, its ill discipline and ungainly... emotional effluence, if you will (he would not)... is precisely what makes of it so peculiarly moving a read, and so consuming a one. I tore through it, and felt for its torrents there was much I was missing. I will read it again, and I will be glad to be able to.

  • Judd
    2019-05-07 19:42

    This is an outstanding meditation on color, its cultural, personal and societal significance, built on an array of snippets from the life and readings of the British filmmaker/artist Jarman. Jarman is and was a great source of perspective on the causes and perspectives of the British empire (see his film 'Requiem'). So this book would certainly offer those interested in a study of color as it relates to "white" culture, although it transcends that through personal insight and transparency. A great book.

  • Anne
    2019-05-23 17:43

    I saw this on Amazon and put it on my wish list. Thanks to a birthday, I received a copy. Oh, technology! Anyway my surprise (this is the trouble with online browsing) was: there are no actual colors in this book. Sure, they are painted with words, blah blah blah, but from the description and cover (which is not the cover pictured here) it seemed like it would contain examples of its subject. Even though you have to have the colors in your head, ala Fredrick the mouse, this is a nice book.

  • Carole Morin
    2019-04-27 14:25

    Philosophical, poetic and witty meditation on colour. 'Silver is for the night.''Only the Empress is allowed to wear yellow.'Diana Vreeland's 'pink is the navy blue of India' is missing. Maybe too obvious for Jarman.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-17 18:43

    wanted to look at this because had seen a ballet inspired by it.was a bit tedious, not interested enough in Jarman's p-o-v I guess, but I liked that it was a personal collection of observations, quotations and information.

  • Liz
    2019-05-03 18:32

    This is a cool book about color. Derek Jarman is pretty cool - so reading his flowing associations following color through culture is illuminating.

  • Melinda
    2019-05-10 13:22

    Love this book just as long as it doesn't contain a blue screen:)

  • Paloma Etienne
    2019-05-24 18:36

    After this ... Dungeness

  • Tsering
    2019-05-23 16:40

    In this book, you will live through colours and their distinction.