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Quotations about art

Some short takes on art:
 
"Pop art is the inedible raised to the unspeakable."
Leonard Baskin[?], Publishers Weekly, 5 Apr 1965
 
"Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad."
Salvador Dali, People, 27 Sep 1976
 
"I do a bale of sketches, one eye, a piece of hair. A pound of observation, then an ounce of painting."
Gardner Cox[?] on his portraits, Washington Post, 31 May 1975
 
"Whores are the most honest girls. They present the bill right away."
Alberto Giacometti, On his choice of models, quoted by James Lord Giacometti Farrar, Straus & Giroux 85
 
"Three men riding on a bicycle which has only one wheel, I guess that's surrealist."
Dong Kingman[?], Twenty-two Famous Painters and Illustrators Tell How They Work McKay 64
 
"Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul."
Henri Matisse, Matisse Rizzoli 84
 
"It is only after years of preparation that the young [artist] should touch color—not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression."
Henri Matisse, Christian Science Monitor, 25 Mar 85
 
"Most painting in the European tradition was painting the mask. Modern art rejected all that. Our subject matter was the person behind the mask."
Robert Motherwell[?], Times, 17 Nov 85
 
"Art is the triumph over chaos."
John Cheever[?], The Stories of John Cheever Knopf 78
 
"All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
Federico Fellini, Atlantic, Dec 65
 
"Art is made by the alone for the alone."
Luis Barragán[?], Time, 12 May 80
 
"Light is impressionism."
Gae Aulenti[?], On positioning galleries for impressionist and postimpressionist paintings at the top of her design for Paris's Musée d'Orsay, Time, 8 Dec 86
 
"Art has two constant, two unending concerns: It always meditates on death and thus always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St John."
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, translated by Max Hayward and Manya Harari, Pantheon 58
 
"Any great work of art ... revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world—the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air."
Leonard Bernstein, "What Makes Opera Grand?" Vogue Dec 58
 
"I don't really have studios. I wander around—around people's attics, out in fields, in cellars, anyplace I find that invites me."
Andrew Wyeth[?], Time, 18 Aug 86
 
"Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you."
Jackson Pollock, Quoted by Francis V O'Connor Jackson Pollock Museum of Modern Art 67
 
"For a long time I limited myself to one color—as a form of discipline."
Pablo Picasso, On his blue and rose periods, Picasso on Art
 
"Art is the signature of civilizations." –Beverly Sills[?], NBC TV, 4 May 85
 
"Art means to dare—and to have been right."
Ned Rorem[?], W, 10 Oct 80
 
"He searched disorder for its unifying principle."
Brian O'Doherty[?], On Stuart Davis, abstractionist whose work prefigured pop art, NY Times, 26 Jun 64
 
"The Art Snob can be recognized in the home by the quick look he gives the pictures on your walls, quick but penetrating, as though he were undressing them. This is followed either by complete and pained silence or a comment such as "That's really a very pleasant little water color you have there.""
Russell Lynes[?], Snobs Harper 50
 
"The Art Snob will stand back from a picture at some distance, his head cocked slightly to one side. ... After a long period of gazing (during which he may occasionally squint his eyes), he will approach to within a few inches of the picture and examine the brushwork; he will then return to his former distant position, give the picture another glance and walk away."
Russell Lynes[?], Snobs Harper 50
 
"[It] is that rare impressionist painting where people don't judge the light, but rather are judged by it."
Alexandra Johnson[?], On Terrace at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet, Christian Science Monitor, 1 Oct 80
 
"The studio, a room to which the artist consigns himself for life, is naturally important, not only as workplace, but as a source of inspiration. And it usually manages, one way or another, to turn up in his product."
Grace Glueck[?], NY Times, 29 Jun 84
 
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."
Winston Churchill, To Royal Academy of Arts, Time, 11 May 53
 
"[It was] like the wild child who belongs in a delinquent home."
Lowery Sims[?], On status of modern art collection before $26-million, 110,000-square-foot addition to the museum, Manhattan Inc Aug 86
 
"Dead artists always bring out an older, richer crowd."
Elizabeth Shaw[?], On a fauvism exhibition that drew 2,000 people, NY Times, 26 Mar 76
 
"I'd rather use art to climb than anything else."
Robert C Scull[?], When asked if his purchases were for investment or social climbing, recalled on his death, 1 Jan 86
 
"It holds up in one object or one surface, in one bright, luminous and concentrated thing—whether a beer can or a flag—all the dispersed elements that go to make up our lives."
Robert C Scull[?], On his collection of pop and minimal art, Time, 21 Feb 64
 
"This museum is a torpedo moving through time, its head the ever-advancing present, its tail the ever-receding past of 50 to 100 years ago."
Alfred Barr[?], Newsweek, 1 Jun 64
 
"The role of art is to make a world which can be inhabited."
William Saroyan, Recalled at his Broadway memorial service, NY Times, 31 Oct 83
 
"Buy old masters. They fetch a better price than old mistresses."
Max Aitken, Recalled on his death, June 9, 1964
 
"[Discipline in art is] a fundamental struggle to understand oneself, as much as to understand what one is drawing."
Henry Moore, Recalled on his death, 31 Aug 86
 
"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence."
Henri Matisse, Christian Science Monitor, 25 Mar 85
 
"All art is solitary and the studio is a torture area."
Alexander Liberman[?], NY Times, 13 May 79
 
"Most artists are surrealists. ... always dreaming something and then they paint it."
Dong Kingman[?], Quoted in Mary Ann Guitar ed Twenty-two Famous Painters and Illustrators Tell How They Work McKay 64



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