quotations about art
Art achieves all little things by absolute truth: but all her great things need some admixture of illusion.
RICHARD GARNETT, De Flagello Myrtes
Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it.... It's a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are a spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be an artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see.
ANN PATCHETT, Bel Canto
Art consists in making others feel what we feel.
FERNANDO PESSOA, The Book of Disquiet
A peculiar work in any art must not be too hastily judged. New styles have to create new tastes.
CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought
Art is the magic mirror you make to reflect your invisible dreams in visible pictures. You use a glass mirror to see your face: you use works of art to see your soul.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Back to Methuselah
The function of the artist is to provide what life does not.
TOM ROBBINS, Another Roadside Attraction
Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia
Art is two things: a search for a road and a search for freedom.
ALICE NEEL, "Art Is a Form of History", Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings
I want to meet a guy named Art. I'd take him to a museum, hang him on the wall, criticize him, and leave.
JAROD KINTZ, I Want
Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the songs of a bird? Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting people have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only a trifling bit of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can't explain them.
PABLO PICASSO, Picasso on Art: A Selection of Views
Never judge a work of art by its defects.
WASHINGTON ALLSTON, attributed, A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Authors of the World, both Ancient and Modern
No longer can we consider what the artist does to be a self-contained activity, mysteriously inspired from above, unrelated and unrelatable to other human activities. Instead, we recognize the exalted kind of seeing that leads to the creation of great art as an outgrowth of the humbler and more common activity of the eyes in everyday life. Just as the prosaic search for information is "artistic" because it involves giving and finding shape and meaning, so the artist's conceiving is an instrument of life, a refined way of understanding who and where we are.
RUDOLF ARNHEIM, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye
Only lifeless mechanisms move along faultlessly straight lines and compass circles. In art the surest way to destroy is to canonize one given form and one philosophy: that which is canonized quickly dies of obesity, of entropy.
YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, The New Russian Prose
Now the culture is made of old things, it's a collage. Art made out of art is not art. You're supposed to make art out of life.
FRAN LEBOWITZ, interview, Paper Magazine, September 17, 2014
That is one of the things a great work of art does. It stays there waiting for you to come back to it, and it shows you who you are now, each time a little different.
DANA SPIOTTA, Innocents and Others
One of the things pounded in to my head at the university level was that art is communication. So showing your art is not only good for your ego, but it's discovering you can be part of this conversation that has been going on as long as people have been painting in caves.
ROBERT LEMMING, "Art Is Communication: Artist turned teacher encourages conversation", Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, March 11, 2016
The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.
ROBERT HENRI, "With preparation, making art is inevitable", Press of Atlantic City, March 8, 2016
Thus, then ... are the three differences which distinguish artistic imitation: the medium, the objects, and the manner.
Art was as much in the activity as in the results. Works of art were not just the finished product, but the thought, the action, the process that created them.
JEAN M. AUEL, The Mammoth Hunters
Art never expresses anything but itself.
OSCAR WILDE, The Decay of Lying