- ARTQUOTES -
...words of advice, encouragement, admonishion, pride and precaution from
Masters, Critics, Dealers, Historians, Authors, Collectors
Being an Artist / Learning & Teaching / Creativity / Drawing / Painting / Photography
of quotations can never be complete."
On the Death of Elizabeth Murray
"There are so many separations in every artist’s life — the projects that live only in the mind,
the ones that go no further than a few sketches and, of course, the divorce that takes place
when a work is really and truly finished and begins to live on its own. For those of us who
celebrated the life and work of Elizabeth Murray, who died of cancer on Sunday at age 66,
we mourn our separation from both.
"Her paintings will be with us for years and years to come, teasing us, resisting us, giving life to
something in her that could only find expression in an almost erotic sense of color and shape.
People will come upon her work and wonder about the woman who made it, and she will take
the place that every artist eventually takes — overshadowed by the constructs of her imagination.
" But we — many of us New Yorkers — have been lucky to have known the woman herself.
I have never met anyone in whom frankness and delicacy combined in the way they did in Elizabeth.
Her eyes were very bold, and her face seemed constructed to make sure you couldn’t miss that boldness.
There was a wildness blowing through her, and to talk to her was to feel that she was consciously effacing,
for your benefit, something that would unhinge you if she let it out, which she did in her work.
That was before cancer.
"And if you happened to see her in the past year, frail and bald and as direct in the eye as ever,
you knew that there was no effacing the knowledge of death, or the fresh understanding of life
that that knowledge gives.
"Elizabeth Murray’s death is enough to teach you how separate and undisclosing an artist’s work always is. And it reminds you how imperfect the very idea of artistic expression is. We know the work rises from within her, but it doesn’t describe her or capture her. Perhaps it’s best to say simply that it expresses what she thought it was possible to express with the toolsshe chose. It was central to her idea of herself, and yet the reference it makes to the living woman will now become more and more oblique. The work will live on in the durable world.
But the memory of the artist lives on only in us,
who are made of the same impermanent stuff that she was."
~ VERLYN KLINKENBORG
14 August 2007
• • •
a disease -- being an artist. They cannot
do anything other than what they are doing."
have a compulsion to paint, or draw, or
paste, or form, or combine, or twist, or
scratch, or scrape, stamp,
makes you do it." ~ GEORGE McNEIL
is a kind of innate drive that seizes a
human being and makes him its instrument.
The artist is not a person endowed
is the most intense mode of individualism
that the world has known." ~ OSCAR
whatever one does, there must be a relationship
between the eye and the heart. One must
come to one's subject
"Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life." ~ GOETHE
long for immortality who do not know what
to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday
afternoon." ~ SUSAN ERTZ
has also this great drawback, that if we
pursue it, we must direct our lives so as
to please the fancy of men."
" None are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first and are not." ~ BARUCH SPINOZA
"A lover of solitude, he nevertheless surrounded himself with with admiring friends." ~ WILLIAM GRIMES
before his death, he [Michelangelo] burned
a large number of his drawings, sketches
"I am an artist. I am afflicted." ~ TRACY LEE
critics who, in modern times, have the most
thoughtfully analyzed the laws of aesthetic
beauty, concur in maintain
when I enter into a room to pay a simple
morning call I have unconsciously the habit
of regarding the scene as if
"I want to be an artist, that's all." - Eugene O'Neil
artists possess a critical and discerning
intellect with the ability to see through
layers of illusion
"It's wonderful to be famous as long as you remain unknown." - Edgar Degas
not an actor. What does it mean, 'celebrity'?
I call myself an 'artisan'. Anyone with
sensitivity is potentially an
for me is a compulsive act. The only things
that break its continuity are other compelling
"Some artists are destined to endure the hazards of ' interesting times' ." - Hilton Kramer
"Symptoms of the artistic temperament should be fought to the death." - David Graham Phillip
are, above all, men who want to become inhuman."-
"Nor do I think that artists can necessarily be held to the standards of decorum of historians." - Diana Wright
with artists, for instance, require great
prudence; they are acquainted with all classes
art makes an interesting life. Sometimes
we paint; sometimes we don't. But we never
stop seeing the world
"I can't tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring." - James McNeil Whistler
art is always about human nature."
- Michael Kimmelman
"Describe not the object itself but the effect it produces." - Stéphane Mallarmé
has taken hold of me. I don't have to try
to capture it. It will posses me always.
painter should be solitary and consider
what he sees and speak with himself,
not defend your [art]. This is your chance
to sit back and to observe what [viewers]
make of your [work].
make little claim to being an artist in
the romantic sense of that mauled and blurred
word. I am a fine craftsman."
consummate artist conjures up the imageof
a human being that will live on in the richness
"To create a work of art is to create the world." - Wassily Kandinsky
“I want to go out and see if I can just forget about art and art history and go out with a brush and try to do some honest painting.” - John Myatt
when I've been staring too hard, I've noticed
that I could see the circumference of my
"Art is the expression of experiences and discoveries meaningful to humanity." - Anthony Toney
may night continue to fall upon the orchestra,
and may I, who am still searching for something
"My greatest obstacle has always been me." - Robert Coane
refuse to adapt or integrate myself."
- Imre Kertesz
"There is service to art which goes beyond convenience." - Daniel C. Dugan
I were certain that all my paintings would
be burned, I think I'd go right on painting
-- yes, I'd go right on painting..."
now he occupies a niche, like most artists
worth remembering, based on only a few years'
"Artists...are different from other people, they feel things more." - Barry Unsworth
"An artist at work is merely mad; an artist not at work is wholly mad." - J. D. Landis in Longing
some artists, not working is just a less
productive, more tormented form of working."
- Roberta Smith
who is born with a talent for a talent finds
in it his happiest exhistance." - Goethe
"He is one of those curious cases of a coarse man capable of making the sweetest art, as if a hard outer shell were protection for a soft heart." - Michael Kimmelman
don't go along with the idea that every
mark an artist makes is significant. That
would be arrogant."
honors are misunderstanding, pesecution
and neglect, enhanced because unsought."
man, and least of all myself, could ever
disentangle the feelings that animated him."
think art is an obsession with life and
after all, as we are human beings, our greatest
obsession is with ourselves."
"Like any monomaniac, Gauguin was in the Gauguin business, aggressively, competitively, full time... he labored to orchestrate his European reputation from several oceans away. It was a demanding job. It entailed not only creating art of extraordinary quality, but also inventing a persona with which to promote it."- Holland Cotter
"Generosity is a powerful spur to talent." - Giorgio Vasari
"Most of the Goyas we rightly regard asmasterpieces were not seen by the public in the artist's lifetime." - Robert Hughes
"In the true artist, Art and life were one." - J. D. Landis in Longing
"If you want to live as an artist - just live...just be." - Mikhail Priorov
"Rubens was a happy man of action who was also a painter of genius. Velázquez was a true professional." - Kenneth Clark
longa, vita brevis." - Latin Proverb
can have an expiration date." - Michael
ON LEARNING AND TEACHING
likewise in teaching others everything depends on consistency,
for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material
his own." ~
I CHING (The book of Changes) Hexagram 29 (K'an / The
Abysmal - Water) The Image:
practice; I learn; I live and breathe images." - Rebecca
really separates human from ape is not the ability to talk incomplete
sentences. It is our underused capacity to listen."
art's effect and grasping its meaning starts partly by deciphering
the how and what of its physical particulars."
"I'm a teacher, I teach." - Robert Coane
"I’m the product of Classical Antiquity. What do I know?" - Robert Coane
"I want to make students aware that they come with a point of view, one that transforms what is told them and one that is relative and changing, a point of departure." - Anthony Toney
matters not what kind of figure-pictures he wishes to paint, he
will never be able to draw the figure properly, whether draped or
otherwise, unless he has gone through a preliminary course of study
from the nude." - John Collier
"The formal class is a stimulating extension of my work as a painter." - Anthony Toney
academic disciplines of art history and studio art expose students
to culturally important bodies
were my masters? The people in the streets and piazzas of Rome."
observe nature and align oneself with it; what more could one teach?"
genius was not something to be taught, only nurtured." - J.
D. Landis in Longing
"The past is the basis for the future." - José Cisneros
"He made us use our powers of observation to the utmost, by accustoming us to seize upon the essential points of everything. Often he sent us to Nature, but still more often to the Louvre, where we had to make drawings, which in turn had to bew reproduced formmemory at the school." - Alphonse Legros
"Now I have given you a compass by means of which, with nature as a professor, you can steer yourself." - August Rodin
again. Fail again. Fail better." - SAMUEL BECKETT
is all tied up in time. Time is its subject and its substance. Art
records time, measures it, manipulates it, invents it. Art also exists
in time, is composed of it, is swallowed up in it. The idea of timeless
art is sweet. But there is no "timeless." And the longer
a piece of art outlives its time, the more clearly it speaks of ephemerality,
what is or will be gone.”-
working on a painting, an abstract painting, very abstract. No paint,
no canvas, I just think about it."
"If I'm painting and a clamer comes along and digs those big, dirty holes right in front of me, I truly believe that what I'm doing is just a pastiche. I really am moved when I see that his is the artwork and mine is just an impression. It always shocks me that these people come along and dig great holes and walk away from it and it looks just wonderful." - John Walker
"It is important for the student to realize that there is a process involved [in creativity] whether explained as revelation, intuition, observation or a synthesis." - Anthony Toney
"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin
"Art is an elegant expression of the collective unconscious." - Denis Achacoso
does not imitate nature, but it founds itself on the study of nature,--takes
from nature, the selections which best
"Como un pintor...que llevara un mundo a cuestas, y de pronto una persona, una frase, una imagen fugaz, trazasen todo un cuadro en su cabeza." - Arturo Pérez-Reverte
"...art is no longer what the vulgar think it to be, that is, some sort of inspiration which comes from nowhere, which proceeds by chance, and presents no more than the picturesque externals of things. It is reason itself, adorned by genius, but following a necessary course and encompassed by higher laws."- Eugene Delacroix
"I cannot be pinned down here and now, because I live as well with the dead as with the unborn. Somewhat closer to the heart of creation than usual, and still not close enough." - Paul Klee, his own epitaph.
"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance. And I know of no substitution for the force and beauty of its process." - Henry James
"Art is more godlike than science. science discovers, art creates." - John Opie
the eye catch fire, God will not be seen.
can make anything seem like anything. Picasso's a master at being
able to make a face feel like a foot."
a true concept of uniqueness you have to go to the artifacts of the
past, to your Madonna,
"I make pictures." - Nikolai Klein
"It seems to be ordinary, what he's doing, but the extraordinary is everywhere." - Fairfield Porter on Vuillard
"What gives life to style is a certain disequilibrium." - Robert Hughes
"All I can do will only ever be a faint image of what I see and success will always be less than my failure or perhaps equal to the failure." - Alberto Giacometti
true work of art is but a shadow of dvine perfection." -
"Take an object. Do something with it. Do something else with it." - Jasper Johns
"(Art is) the residue of vision." - Alberto Giacometti
"Art is the ape of nature."- Classical Dictum
“When you’re looking at the originals, you seem to be looking at copies; and when you’re looking at copies, you seem to be looking at the originals. Is it a canal side in Haarlem or is it a Van der Heyden?... The maid-servants in the streets seem to have stepped out of a Gerald Dow and appear equally well-adapted for stepping back again.” - Henry James
desire of contemporary masses to bring things ‘closer’
spatially andhumanly, which is just as ardent as
“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” - Walter Benjamin
"Visual art never begins with a poetic mood or idea, but with building one or several figures, with harmonizing a few colors or tones, or with calculating spacial relationships. Whether an idea then joins in is completely irrelevant." - Paul Klee
"If there were no beginning to anything, there would be nothing to improve upon, and the final outcome would not be and so wonderfully beautiful." - Giorgio Vasari
"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist." - Oscar Wilde
anything I do, I don't want the viewer involved with how it was done
- the curiosity about how it was made can come later...I just want
the work to be another thing in the room which is discovered slowly.
"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." - George Bernard Shaw
painter's intellectual grasp and his technical skill can be combined
to produce a masterpiece."
is the good of prescribing to art the roads that it must follow? To
do so is to doubt art, which develops normally according to the laws
of Nature, and must be exclussively occupied in responding to human
mere technique controls the day, Art will always waste away."
isn’t art for art’s sake; it’s style for style’s
sake—the distinction being a breathless deficit of substance."
"An artist who trades in trivialities should know well enough not to mess with themes that are beyond the scope of his talent." - Mario Naves
of the things that have made me want to paint, other than other paintings,
are: American wood and iron workof the past; Civil War and skyscraper
architecture; the brilliant colors on gasoline stations; chain-stopre
fronts and taxi-cabs; the music of Bach;
the poetry of Rimbeau [sic]; fast travel by train, auto and aerop[lanewhich
brought new and multiple perspectives; electric signs; the landscape
and boats of Gloucester, Mass.; 5 & 10cent store kitchen utensils;
movies and radio; Earl Hines hot piano and Negro jazz music in general,
etc. In one way or another the quality of these things
"...you had to know things better to forget them, to forget their names, their styles of presentation. And only by this means, this unnaming, could could the penetyration of Nature - things as they really are,the silent mysteries beyond nomenclature - really begin... What he is best at painting is things seen for theirown sake, deriving their meaning from their being, not the other way around." - Robert Hughes on Jean-Siméon Chardin
"Whereas beautiful colors are sold in the
art stores along the Rialto, drawing is only to be learned from the
box of talent."
"Into his last years, he spent days drawing at his studio near the Place des Victoirsor or in the Louvre or in his apartment overlooking the Tuileries." - Michael Kimmelman on Cartier-Bresson
had always carried a little sketch pad with him, consistent with his
early training under Lhote. Drawing had been his first passion. So
with help from artist frieds like Sam Szafran and Avigdor Arikha in
Paris,he committed himself to drawingwith an enthusiasm that people
around him found remarkable."
"Drawing is a caress." - Robert Coane
"Painting figures is the hardest, certainly the most taxing genre, and you have to be the most on your game. If you have significant drawing problems, the figure will fall apart and it will read wrong emotionally." - Jacob Collins
"Drawing is a kind of universal language understood by all nations." - Benjamin Franklin
was a civilized thing to do, like reading and writing. It was taught
in elementary schools.
box cameras became universal a century or so ago, people drew for
pleasure but also because it was
"Drawing promoted meditation and stillness." - Michael Kimmelman
sustained act of will is essential to drawing. Nothing could be more
opposed to reverie, since the requisite
good drawing is more than just a feat of hand-eye or mind-body
co-ordination. It is an exemplary struggle with society and culture;
at best a victory over forces that, most of the time, keep most of
us from having the courage of our own originality." - Ken
"One must always draw, draw with the eyes when one cannot draw with a pencil." - Balthus
a drawing, begin it again, trace it, begin it again and retrace it."
- Edgar Degas
"Forget nothing; learn the trick of remembering through the hand. - Robertson Davies in What's Bred in the Bone
do not learn to draw only by recording pure, uncontaminated perceptions;
they also learn by imitating other artistsand then strive to make
something distinctively individual out of the generic templates that
is not form. It is the way we see form." - Edgar Degas
you must see my pictures in the other room, my sketches. They are
my great works."
place us in an intimate, almost conversational relation to the artist's
sensibility. They give us
"I can't be myself without drawing, you see." - Judith Merkle Riley in The Serpent Garden
"Not only is the act of drawing incredibly absorbing and peaceful, but, every once in a while, I'm really pleased with the result." - Mark Robertson
"The drawing should not be considsered as something to be done first and then colored. In looking at nature we do not analyze the drawing and color separately. It is one thing and a simultaneous impression." - Stewart Davis
line of a drawing, besides contributing to the final image, stands
as a unique record of the artist's thoughts
line comes into being. It goes out for a walk, so to speak, aimlessly
for the sake of the walk." - Paul Klee
is man's oldest conjuring trick." - Michael
"Today no hand-made art form has the near-universal currency that painting once did." - Ken Johnson
always try to paint like other people and I always end up painting
like myself." - Willem
"Painting is no problem; the problem is what to do when you're not painting." - Jackson Pollolck
"Painting is man's oldest conjuring trick." - Michael Kimmelman
"He traffics in all manner of newfangled and oddball devices, from unlikely fabrics as painting surfaces to strange chemical brews in lieu of the usual pigments. Doing so, he somehow reaffirms the durability of painting and, not incidentaly, invents strangely beautiful pictures, the emphasis equally on strangeand on beautiful." - Michael Kimmelman on Sigmar Polke
"I read what you wrote about Derain and I know you aren't going to like my painting." - Leland Bell
would like the intimacy of the image against a very stark background.
I want to isolate the image."
is painting but the art of expressing the visible by means of the
invisible? It's made up. It is a product
painting, I unravel the labyrinths of my past experience with the
images and psycholocical and
"The refined pleasures of the palate were one of many unorthodox ways we celebrated god" - Sarah Dunant
to make the picture a 'thing' by itself. It should be...simple and
self reliant.... It should depend on
chain of paintings becomes a visual record of my interpretations of
reality, so I say that my paintings
the subject of a picture of any significance? No -- since all visual
objects have form and reflect light,
“Black is like the silence of the body after death, the close of life.” - Wassily Kandinsky
riddle lies in the flow of colors. They flame up like fiery creatures,
and yet serve the design,
“Black is like the silence of the body after death, the close of life.” - Wassily Kandinsky
me a form is never something abstract. It is always a sign of something.
It is always a man, a bird or something else. For me painting is never
form for form's sake." - Joan Miró
process of making a work begins by thinking over these psychological,
visual, and societal contrasts
you paint a man leaning over, your own back must hurt.' - Andrew
more complex paintings contain interweavings, web upon web of viual
and psychological contradictions.
is what one bumps into when stepping back to get a better look at
a painting." - Clement Greenberg
was no ultimate painting, just the one he happened to do last, whichever
it may have been."
"...a marvelous profession, while it remains a modest one." - Henri Cartier Bresson
is an instantaneous operation, both sensory and intellectual --- an
expression of the world
"...the simultaneous recognitionin a fraction of a second of an event, as well as the precise organization of forms that give that event its proper expression." - Henri Cartier Bresson
"I'm not interested in my photographs nor other people's." - Henri Cartier Bresson
adore shooting photographs. It's like being a hunter. But some hunters
are vegetarians - which is my
tenderly, gentlt...on tiptoe - even even if the subject is a still
life." A velvet hand, ahawk's eye -
all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single
photograph, of some situation
is something appauling about photographing people. It is certainly
some sort of violation so,
automatic camera] is like shooting partridges with a machine gun."
Henri Cartier Bresson
"Photography was my choice of weapons." - Gordon Parks
love flesh. I am a photographer of the skin." - Bettina
ON RELATED DISCIPLINES
people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in
the basement. Other people get a tremendous
was born with a reading list I will never finish.” ~ Maud
see deeply enough to capture the vibrancy of life on the page, a writer
must move her consciousness out of information organizing mode into
an intuitive way of seeing subtle organic connections and capturing
them in bold strokes.”
~ Rachel Howard
it is in the nature of a film industry to support war efforts, to
be patriotic, to distinguish heroes from villains,
truth we have never cared too much whether Hollywood films are good;we
only want them to sell,
"He often described drawing as a meditative experience, photography as intuitive, but added that 'there is no esthetic peculiar to photography or drawing.' " - Michael Kimmelman re Cartier-Bresson
"I would like to write the way I do my paintings, that is as fantasy takes me, as the moon dictates, and I come up with a title long afterward." - Paul Gauguin
is an art." - Mark Robertson
chef, or cook, proportions, assembles, and prepares various products
of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, creating food for
the epicure. The aesthetic pleasure induced by food can be so closely
related to that produced by certain
however, Vincent wanted to make a soup. How he mixed it, I don't know;
as he mixed his colours in his pictures....
"Madness is to Art what garlic is to salads." - Augustus Saint-Gaudens
art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure no slight pleasure.”
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
"People call me a painter of dancers but I really wish to capture movement itself." - Edgar Degas
has been called the chamber music of the visual arts. Just as in a
musical composition for a
and dancing are branches of the same tree. Of course, they are just
have a very simple taste, the best is just good enough!"
public glances at the art and then stampedes to the giftshop anyway.
Well, what can I say? It's the same public that has come to accept
sex with condoms. - Katharine
capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly
greater than that of any other animals."
"Quality is not something you believe in. Quality is something you experience.” - Robert M. Pirsig
"Nature is much too green and poorly designed." - Françoise Boucher
"Illusionsm at this level makes criticism silly and prompts a certain knee-jerk melancholy for bygone eras of unearthly draftsmanship." - Michael Kimmelman
"...two of the characteristics of a masterpiece: a confluence of memories and emotions from a single idea, and a power of recreating traditional forms so that they become expressive of the artist's own eppoch and yet keep a relationship with the past." - Kenneth Clark
"...that double relationship which is the prerogative of the masterpiece. It is a superb piece of design and a profound assertion of human values." - Kenneth Clark
more than ten percent of the population likes a painting, it should
be burned for it must be bad."
"As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular." - Oscar Wilde
just can't seem to paint nice things." - Ivan Albright
"Idiots love angles." - Daniel C. Dugan
"Less is more." - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
secret is knowing what to leave out." - Steve Jobs
sport, art is an area in which elitism can display itself at a negligible
cost in social harm."
art has become foolishly confounded with education -- that all should
be equally qualified."
great mystery facing mankind was not why all fashionable stuff was
wretched but why so much wretched stuff was fashionable." -
J. D. Landis in Longing
art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the
"Separate the abilities from the disabilities. Let's see what works." - Isaac Perlman
"Intellectually, ours has in many respects become a self-lobotomized society in which the moral fatuities of pop culture are quickly made to fill the gaps left vacant by our widespread incomprehnsion of the historical past." - Hilton Kramer
all part of the avalanche of sub-intellectual trash that nowadays
passes for art in the museums under the banner of Conceptual Art,
which, by its very nature, is wholly devoid of aesthetic interest."
- Hilton Kramer
ON STYLES, CHOICES AND PREFERENCES
"Bonnard could not have known that young artists in the year 2006 would operate in a commonplace world of budget air travel, proliferating art fairsand museums for contemporary art, where peripatetic pilgrims encounter endless objects once and mostly never again. This...may be the biggest change in art during the last half century or so: that more and more artists make works they never expect to be lived with, looked at day in, day out by the same person; that much art is made for fairs or museums, designed to grab a distracted passerby's attention without needing to be experienced twice. Culture slides into the realm of entertainment." ~ Michael Kimmelman
and the same thing can at the same time be good, bad, and indifferent,
e.g., music is good to the melancholy,
"I'm seeking the high seas rather than safe harbour. If I sink, you're excused from mourning me." - Gustave Flaubert
"Let every man exercise the art he knows." - Aristophanes
the many mixed blessings of modern culture, art's absorption into
academe is high among them, along with the influx of money, a flood
of it lately spreading not only prosperity but also the corrupting
aspirations of popular entertainment."
"Different approaches in painting or art generally are manifestations of different views of reality." - Anthony Toney
"A work of art should be decorative, above all." - Henri Matisse
"A work is finished when an artist realizes his intentions." - Rembrandt
Caravaggio, light was a divine power and theatrical agent, cast onto
players acting on a darkened stage;
"Abstraction is the expression in symbols of actual experience." - Anthony Toney
would love to have a structure as powerful and human and deeply probing
as Mondrian's, but I also have to
question in art is not between representation and non-representation,
but rather what is being represented.
wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came
from my true self.
can be a path to or away from that reality." -
paint self portraits because I am alone, because I am the person I
know best." - Frida Kahlo
art refusing, like all art, to conform to the clichés and predisposed
interpretations of ideologues."
I must warn you: don't try to fake the modern manner if it isn't right
for you. Find your legend. Find your myth."
"Form and subject are one. If form predominates...there is a loss of vitality and of that humanity that should underlie even the most idealized construction; but if the subject predominates, the mind release its hold. In both cases the chance of a masterpiece is deminished." - Kenneth Clark
ON THE STUDIO AND WORK ETHIC
"If you want to penetrate the mind of an artist, you must visit him in his studio." - Robert Schumann
artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without
work." - Emile
art is necesarily an abstraction. But if a work is to be socially
constructive or individually significant, it must stem from and
return to substantial experience." - Anthony
am never alone."
- Henri Matisse in old age refering to the images in his studio.
"Go on working freely and furiously and you will mmake progress." - Paul Gauguin
in the studio, I work on half a dozen paintings and I am drawing
and thinking about my course,
"...walls were always covered with an erndless array of poetry and light." - Mark Rothko
work, whether you want to or not. I throw away a whole day's work
sometimes, but the simple effort of turning it out has kept my steam
up and kept me from lagging."
"Shut up and paint." - Robert Coane
"The smalest thing, werll done, becomes artistic." - William Matthews
never took up smoking - I think because I wanted to avoid being
distracted for so much as a minute."
turned night into day and with tremendous fervor spent all his time
on the study of his profession. He made a habit of this, his only
pleasure was always to work hard on his craft and always to be painting."
"Live by working." - August Rodin
rises at seven, enters his atelier at eight, and interrupts his
work only for lunch, then continues until nightfall, working on
his feet or perched on a stool, which leaves him totally worn out
at night, and ready for bed after an hour of sleeping."
woman artist is not deprived by cooking or having children...one
is in fact nourished by this rich life, provided one always does
some work each day, even a single half hour, so that the images
grow in one's mind." - Barbara Hepworth
as there are many who are helped by Fortune and are not endowed with
much talent, so
on the contrary there are countless talented men who are persecuted
by hostile and contrary Fortune. Thus it is an open secret that her
children are those who are not helped by talent but depend on her;
for she likes to raise by her favor some who would never win recognition
through their own merits."
or automatic solutions rarely embody discoveries, but rather stem
from well worn habit patterns.
of the worst things that can happen to a man is for him to work and
study hard in order to benefit others and make his own name and then
be prevented by sickness, or
perhaps death itself, from finally completing what he has begun."
"I think the rarest thing now when I go to places is to be surprised." - Derry Moore
feel that anything I've ever liked at all has been the result of an
accident on which
go from this to that, and why be ashamed of it? It seems to me that
this is the human experience."
happens." - James McNeill Whistler
ON THE FIGURE
nude alone is well dressed" ~
can never exist without Naked Beauty display'd." - William
"To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself."- John Berger
reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned
to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress." - John
"Oil paint was made for depicting flesh." - Willem de Kooning
"I love flesh. I am a photographer of the skin." - Bettina Rheims
"My nudes are done, which is to say that the bodies benerath the draperies are done... You see, it is the part one doesn't see, the most important part, which is finished." - Auguste Rodin
in the habit of sculpting my marble children first without clothes...
Later I only have to throw a cloth over them and everything vibrates
at the points where it touches the body; thus the figure is made of
flesh and blood, not a cold effigy."
don't like a long study of casts, even of the sculptors of the best
Greek period. At best, they are only imitations,and an imitation of
imitations cannot have so much life as an imitation of nature itself."
- Thomas Eakins
most captivating and imaginative painter to have lived since Giotto
would certainly have been Paolo Ucello, if only he had spent as much
time on human figures and animals as he spent, and wasted, on the
finer points of perspective."
have read that the ancients, when they had produced a sound, used
to modulate it, heightening and lowering its pitch
interestes me most is neither still life nor landscape, but the human
figure. It is through the figure that I best succeed in expressing
the almost religious feeling I have towards life."
ON THE MODEL
doubtful that anyone ever sat on the front stoop and vowed -- with
a jingle of the charm bracelet, a wave of the sunglasses –
that she was going to be a muse when she grew up. But the calling
has seen better days. Recruiters would have an easier time finding
a Swiss Guard. Musedom has so much lost its footing that the word
barely ventures out anymore without a pair of quotation marks."
Schiff on Francine Prose’s THE
LIVES OF THE MUSES
"She was smart enough to leave them all wanting more, behaviour that illuminates two central tenets ofmusedom: sex has relartively little to do with it: longing, on the other hand, is key." - Stacy Schiff
"The muse should be as charming as she is unobtainable." - Stacy Schiff
is difficult to rival the combustive energy of genius and passion."
- Stacy Schiff
"The living model, the naked body of a woman, is the privileged seat of feeling, but also of questioning. The model must mark you, awaken in you an emotion which you seek in turn to express." - Henri Matisse
at the happiness of being able to create sculpture with complete
freedom as 'he'* had always wanted...needing money chiefly to pay
the models 'he' always has at 'his' studio and whom he often allows
to move freely, though 'he' watches them out of the corner of an
eye in order to learn the originality which is in nature."
was in the model that 'he' discovered all the strength and splendor
of muscular beauty,
Artists who create nude human forms getting 'turned on' while they
create? Our brains are in spatial-thinking mode and conscious sexual
thoughts would get in the way and defeat the intention."
"She would have been a gift to the sort of painter that likes painting women getting in and out of the bath." - Barry Unsworth
fatal flaw in the whole respectable edifice of the academic nude...
the relationship between the painter and his model. No doubt an
artist can achieve a greater degree of detachment than the profane
might supose. But does this not involve a certain ... dimness of
response... As a matter of history...painting the nude usually ended
ON MORALITY AND ART
body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced."
great artists of the world are never Puritans and seldom even ordinarily
respectable." - H.L. Mencken
"Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose" - Friedrich Nietzsche
"As two of the very few working communities in Rome, artists and prostitutes had a lot in common, not least their common intimacy with men of the cloth." - Peter Robb in 'M' The man Who Became Carvaggio
"I never met an interesting man who didn't drink." - Katherine Hepburn
"The great artist's eye is never innocent" - Robert Hughes
the chaste are truly obscene." - Joris-Karl Huysmans
"How could it be his fault that something about the place on his right clavicle where there is a faint spray of freckles makes me feel a harsh thump of excitement?" - Katharine Weber
would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or
deformity, order or confusion. Only in relation to our imagination
can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused."
"I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal." - Jane Austen
up some indecency in plain sight over your door; from that time
forward you will be rid of all respectable people,the most insupportable
folk God has created." - Paul Gauguin
are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal,
nor between what is true and what is false.
believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe
it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is
better to know than to be ignorant." - H.L. Mencken
is, in short, nothing but a sexual pleasure... when he creates,
the artist outwits his reproductive instinct."
ON ART, WAR AND VIOLENCE IN LIFE
"Je suis Charlie"
"The next morning I made myself go to the studio and work because, however futile it might be, it's what I do, and all I can do." - Elizabeth Murray, "Clinging to Belief in Art", New York Times, 23 September 2001
is nothing more American than brutal violence. The country was built
on it, revels in it and shows every evidence of clinging to it with
the crazed, destructive strength of an obsessive lover." ~
degenerates in the hands of man." - Jean Jacques Rousseau
human race had yet to render itself extinct; perhaps the animals
were just adry run. Once you believed
we should be outraged at what's going on in the world. Anger is
not negative. Why shouldn't I be outraged?
"I don't like to see people suffer but, then, they breed at such a rate that they're bound to suffer." - Francis Bacon
"There is no correlation between aid and growth." - David Brooks
feeling in my heart a sympathy for the poor does not change the
life of the poor. And artists who create works
set out to be happy, prosperous, successful, content. But in time,
lots of time, all your intentions fade away
"The only world that won't disappoint me is the one I make up." - Francis Bacon
“Always trust a stranger. In this life, it’s the people you know who let you down.” - Andrew O’Hagan
one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear -- fear of the
unknown, the complex, the inexplicable.
a young bourgeois with Surrealist ideas, breaking stone and working
in a cement factory was a very good lesson."
people haven’t accomplished much yet so they can only elevate
themselves by endlessly celebrating
"Artists will certainly never win over warriors, but their existtence gives us hope." - Grace Glueck
who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned
you don't have a dog -- at least one -- there is not necessarily
anything wrong with you,
works, those dispersed and those remaining in my studio, record
my struggle for awareness and
have been fighting for two months and I can now gauge the intensity
of life." - Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
I participated in two wars, never have I felt that the world is
as close to disaster as it is now -
war is a] paltry mechanism, which serves as a purge to over-numerous
"The concept of death is explicit or implicit in all my photographs." - Manuel Álvarez Bravo
his work, a messy, violent, adversarial world is given order through
"If you give up the struggle, you give up what it's all about." - Robert Moskowitz
never felt more generous, nor more selfish; rarely more creative,
rarely more indifferent."
the tragedies which we can imagine return in the end to the one
and only tragedy: the passage of time."
be candid, I think the death of a child is never really to be regretted,
when one reflects on what he has escaped."
"I took satisfaction in certain public disasters, felt sort of ecstasy at the contemplation of ruin." - William Butler Yeats
journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
body, but rather to skid in sideways,
want my paintings to inspire a sense of optimism in the face of
the seriousness of the human predicament."
suffered two great accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar
knocked me down....
"El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." - Francisco de Goya y Lucientes
"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." - Truman Capote
"Anger I reserve for people, commonly referred to as 'humans'." - Robert Coane
is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition
for benevolence, confidence, justice."
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
ON THE BUSINESS OF ART
"Lucky as I am, I've been able to hang on to most of my work." - Douglas Vogel
"All I am asking is that you look at my work. Tell me what you think, without lying." - Sarah Dunant
promises an experience out of the ordinary but, with exhibitions commonplace
and galleries selling fun
Art market operates according to its own logic, which may have nothing
to do with the quality of the art.
only natural to play the skeptic when the artworld is a circus of
profligacy, drunk with cash,
there really is no antinomian counterculture -- even the artists and
rock stars are bourgeous strivers."
would prefer to keep their money in art rather than in stocks and
- Richard Feigen
"The whole art is to write and write and writeand then offer iut for sale, just like butter." - Hilaire Belloc
artist! You have put a fragment of your soul into this canvas which
you have come to sell."
was there such a load of rubbish talked about anything as has been,
and will be, talked about art.
"...princely patrons are best, because they are not cheap." - Judith Merkle Riley in The Serpent Garden
"Also, always try to get an advance, even from princes." - Judith Merkle Riley in The Serpent Garden
"It's not money I'm after, it's something else. When I've found it, I'll have the money."- August Rodin
first essential to success in the art you practice is respect for
the art itself."
knew something about funny ways of getting a living. It was precisely
from a life devoted
"You have to use your human capital judiciously." - Orlando Plaza
always say congratulations. When you're a successful bidder it means
you're willing to spend more
have become the leading indicator of ultra-conspicuous consumption,
pieces of public, male-dominated theater in which collectors, art
dealers and auction houses flex their monetary clout, mostly for one
another. The spectacle of watching these privileged few (mostly hedge
fund managers and investment-hungry consortiums, it seems) tossing
around huge amounts of money has become a rarefied spectator sport.
These events are painful to watch yet impossible to ignore and deeply
alienating if you actually love art for its own sake.