Hal Rogoff December 30, 1925 - December 13, 2012
Born Seymour Harold Rogoff; was an artist, poet, sculptor, inventor,
teacher, and world class art restorer who devoted his life to the study of
how human beings perceive color. Color As Light Energy Historical
Institute is dedicated to providing an accurate historical record of the
important contributions Hal Rogoff made to human color perception and
the Op Art Movement. Hal Rogoff, Josef Albers' first protegé at Yale
University, was instrumental in the 1950's op art movement. While
doing his graduate work with Josef Albers', Rogoff presented a color
principle, now known as contrast reversal, that was previously
considered impossible to achieve. His original color study of this work,
called 'Yellow Diamonds'-1952, was published in the Joseph Albers'
book, 'The Interaction of Color'. Today this color concept is easily
discovered in many Psych 101 text books.
Combining his own curiosity regarding human color perception, Josef
Albers powerful experimental techniques for exploring color and a
passion encouraged by his personal mentor, R. Buckminster Fuller,
Rogoff became the first artist to successfully paint with the concept of
color as light energy. His amazing works noticeably changed even Albers'
personal approach to color. This approach resulted from extrapolating
the physics of light and human bio-chemistry discoveries of the early
twentieth century to better understand how our eyes and our brains
interpret color. Rogoff's hard-edge geometric artwork both aesthetically
appeals to our senses and intellectually demonstrates his color theory
experiments. Using this approach he corrected several existing color
principles and discovered many that were previously unknown.
Rogoff believed that his art would provide a road-map by which future
artists, and anyone else working with visual media, could make better
use of color and learn to master the visual language. His work
influenced contemporaries such as: Richard Anuszkiewicz and Julian
Stanszack. It also led to several changes in our daily lives, including
modifying the color of highway safety signs across the nation, saving
"What is color? Color is light. What is light? Light is
energy! What is energy? Energy is power! Why not
put that power to work for us? Why not think of color
as energy and work with it as energy?"
Seymour Hal Rogoff
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Color As Light Energy Historical Institute is dedicated to providing an accurate historical record
of the important contributions Hal Rogoff made to human color perception and the Op Art Movement.