ART QUOTES VII

quotations about art

Art quote

Art is a means to enter, to play with, to dance with, to wrestle with anything that intrigues, delights, disturbs, or terrifies us.

PAT B. ALLEN, introduction, Art Is a Spiritual Path

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Perhaps art is a quest for the perfect, or even the imperfect. Reality always falls short on both sides.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH, Letters to a Young Artist

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Nothing helps an artist's career more than a little death and obscurity.

DAN SIMMONS, The Fall of Hyperion

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In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt--a wind to freeze;
Sad patience--joyous energies;
Humility--yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity--reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob's mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel--Art.

HERMAN MELVILLE, "Art"

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They say that art should stand the test of time. Life lasts a limited amount of time. Mountains and trees and earth will outlive human beings, but we don't know if they will be here always. Art does outlast the life span of its maker. Art should communicate to an increasing circle of strangers--people who do now know the artist, but come to know the work, and through the work, come to know something about the humanity of the artist that rings with their own humanity.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH, Letters to a Young Artist

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Art matures. It is the formal elaboration of activity, complete in its own pattern. It is a cosmos of its own.

BAKER BROWNELL, Art Is Action

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Art is an infinitely precious good, a draught both refreshing and cheering which restores the stomach and the mind to the natural equilibrium of the ideal.

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE, preface, Salon of 1846

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Art arises in those strange complexities of action that are called human beings. It is a kind of human behavior. As such it is not magic, except as human beings are magical. Nor is it concerned in absolutes, eternities, "forms," beyond those that may reside in the context of the human being and be subject to his vicissitudes. Art is not an inner state of consciousness, whatever that may mean. Neither is it essentially a supreme form of communication. Art is human behavior, and its values are contained in human behavior.

BAKER BROWNELL, Art Is Action

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The work of art is a revelation of the innate goodness of matter. Matter narcissistically mirrors itself in art, with the artist's hidden hand that holds the mirror up, the impersonal mechanism by means of which matter makes its perfection manifest.

DONALD BURTON KUSPIT, Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries

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The scope of art is practically boundless; it does not begin and end with the painting of pictures and the modeling of statues; where there is room for workmanship there is room for it.

LEWIS FOREMAN DAY, Everyday Art

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Art is my spiritual path.... Art is my prayer, my ritual, my remembrance of the Divine. Art is the way I knit together the beliefs and practices that guide my life.

PAT B. ALLEN, introduction, Art Is a Spiritual Path

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Art knows, life applies knowledge; art feels, life acts.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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Aesthetic culture is not the high-road to all the virtues, and, indeed, certain of the vices have been known to infest it. Neither, on the other hand, is there any special grace in ugliness. Art is only utterance. It must express something; and the vital question is, what does it express?

LEWIS FOREMAN DAY, Everyday Art

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The idea of a new art based upon science, in opposition to the art of the old world that was based on imagination, an art that should explain all things and embrace modern life in its entirety, in its endless ramifications, be, as it were, a new creed in a new civilization, filled me with wonder, and I stood dumb before the vastness of the conception, and the towering height of the ambition.

GEORGE MOORE, Confessions of a Young Man

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The artist is justified by his art.

LEWIS FOREMAN DAY, Stained Glass

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The worst evil which can befall the artist is that his work should appear good in his own eyes.

LEONARDO DA VINCI, Thoughts on Art and Life

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True art consists in the concealment of art.

LEWIS F. KORNS, Thoughts

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Art is awkward until technique has become an unconscious habit.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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It used to happen, and still happens, to me to take no pleasure in a work of art at the first sight of it, because it is too much for me; but if I suspect any merit in it, I try to get at it; and then I never fail to make the most gratifying discoveries--to find new qualities in the work itself and new faculties in myself.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

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Art is one of man's few serious activities.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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