Quotes

“The role of art for me is the visualization of attitude, of the human attitude towards life, towards the world. And I think I’ve said before that there is no difference between science and art when it comes to creativeness, productiveness, to come to conclusions and to formulations. That’s the same I think. And scientists can be just as creative as an artist.”
―Josef Albers

“The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not like a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness, of fear and pleasure; it’s a little like making love, the physical act of love.”
― Francis Bacon

“There is nothing riskier or more difficult than to render a bright gaze, the barely tactile fuzz of a cheek, the presence of a barely perceptible emotion like a heaviness mixed with lightness on a pair of lips. But the body and facial features were not my only focus. That which lay beneath their bodies and features, in their silence and darkness, was of equal importance.”
― Balthus

“I had always loved expressionist painting, like every European. In fact I admired it all the more because these were precisely the paintings despised by my father’s generation.”
― Georg Baselitz

“Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.”
― Charles Baudelaire

“An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportion.”
― Charles Baudelaire

“One of the wonderful things about a museum is how you’re jolted into confronting art from strange and wonderful civilizations and you look and learn and expand your horizons.”
― Sister Wendy Beckett

“You have to expend time and energy. If you don’t want to do that, you can still get a lot of enlightenment and entertainment by just wandering around, but you’ll never get the deep spiritual nourishment [on how to see art]”
― Sister Wendy Beckett

My heart beats more for a raw, average vulgar art, which doesn’t live between sleepy fairy-tale moods and poetry but rather concedes a direct entrance to the fearful, commonplace, splendid and the average grotesque banality in life.
― Max Beckmann

“imagination, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.”
― Ambrose Bierce

“Abstinence sows sand all over
The ruddy limbs and flaming hair,
But Desire gratified
Plants fruits of life and beauty there.”
― William Blake (Gnomic Verses)

“Artistic imagination must remain free. It is by definition free from any fidelity to circumstances, especially to the intoxicating circumstances of history.”
― Andre Breton

“If a symbol should be discovered in a painting of mine, it was not my intention. It is a result I did not seek. It is something that may be found afterwards, and which can be interpreted according to taste.”
― Marc Chagall

To me the poets are closer than I am to the idea of voice, to a sort of primeval song that we all participate in. Maybe they express more directly a sense of sympathy for other human beings. Painting is a little bit more of a retreat from human beings in real life; painting is more about the extreme moments when speech doesn’t help anymore.
Francesco Clemente

“Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”
― Gustave Courbet

“A true painter is one who can paint extraordinary scenes in the middle of an empty desert. A true painter is one who can patiently paint a pear in the midst of the tumults of history.”
― Salvador Dali

“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.”
― Salvador Dali

“To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and commonsense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams.”
― Giorgio DeChirico

“Art critic! Is that a profession? When I think we are stupid enough, we painters, to solicit those people’s compliments and to put ourselves into their hands! What shame! Should we even accept that they talk about our work?”
― Edgar Degas

“I knew neither jealousy nor hate but was possessed by a rage to recreate a new world, the world which my eyes perceived, a world all to myself. I was poor but I knew that life is beautiful. And I had no other ambition than to discover with the help of new means those deep inner ties that linked me to the very soil.”
― Maurice de Vlaminck

“There is no art without intoxication. But I mean a mad intoxication! Let reason teeter! Delirium! The highest degree of delirium! Plunged in burning dementia! Art is the most enrapturing orgy within man’s reach.. Art must make you laugh a little and make you a little afraid. Anything as long as it doesn’t bore.
― Jean Dubuffet

“I have sometimes heard painters say that they paint “for themselves”: but I think they would soon have painted their fill if they lived on a desert island. The primary purpose of all art forms, whether it’s music, literature, or the visual arts, is to say something to the outside world; in other words, to make a personal thought, a striking idea, an inner emotion perceptible to other people’s senses in such a way that there is no uncertainty about the maker’s intentions”
― M.C. Escher

“Painting is the most beautiful of all arts. In it, all sensations are condensed; contemplating it, everyone can create a story at the will of his imagination and.. with a single glance.. have his soul invaded by the most profound recollections; no effort of memory, everything is summed up in one instant. A complete art which sums up all the others and completes them.”
― Paul Gauguin

“I was interested in all kinds of mystery or deeper meanings in the paintings because I myself have not analyzed why they have turned out like this or like that. It’s sometimes quite strange for me to see my own paintings. It comes as a surprise to me sometimes.”
― H.R. Giger

Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.
― Francisco Goya

“I have had three masters; Nature, Velasquez, and Rembrandt.”
― Francisco Goya

“Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see. I don’t know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, a memory, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere.
― Philip Guston

“My aim in painting is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature.”
― Hans Hofmann

“I thought for a change I would give up drinking, and it was a great mistake and although I reduced the size of my nose and improved my beauty, my stomach suffered.”
― Winslow Homer

“Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”
― Frida Kahlo

“All my work keeps going like a pendulum.. it seems to swing back to something I was involved with earlier, or it moves between horizontality and verticality, circularlity, or a composite of them. For me, I suppose, that change is the only constant.”
― Lee Krasner

“I like a canvas to breathe and be alive. Be alive is the point. And, as the limitations are something called pigment and canvas, let’s see if I can do it.”
― Lee Krasner

“What I most cherish is the observation of the movement of colors. Only in this have I found the laws of those simultaneous and complementary color contrasts that nourish the actual rhythm of my vision. In this I find the actual essence, an essence which is not born out of an a priori system or theory.”
― August Macke

“After a half-century of hard work and reflection the wall is still there.”
― Henri Matisse

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.”
― Robert Motherwell

“The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with.”
― Robert Motherwell

“The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks.”
― Emil Nolde

“The artist’s view does not have to make sense. At least not the sort of sense that can be easily expressed in words. There is no underlying conception or thematic arrangement. But to me, the selection is utterly plausible.”
― Albert Oehlen

“I think a single sentence by Van Gogh is better than the whole work of all the art critics and art historians put together.”
― John Olsen

“If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.”
― Francis Picabia

“What I’m attempting in each picture is nothing other than this.. to bring together in a living and viable way, the most different and the most contradictory elements in the greatest possible freedom.”
― Gerhard Richter

You can’t shake your own sensibility. No matter what the concept is, the artist’s eye decides when it’s right.. which is a notion of sensibility.
― Frank Stella

“I don’t like a lot of the stuff that goes on in the art world, but it’s hard to be old and like what goes on around you.”
― Frank Stella

“My aim is to escape from the medium with which I work; to leave no residue of technical mannerisms to stand between my expression and the observer.”
― Andrew Wyeth

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
― Émile Zola

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