Favorite Selections from

Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values. - A. Alvarez

Art is an experience, not the formulation of a problem. - Lindsay Anderson

One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together. - Goethe

To have read the greatest works of any great poet, to have beheld or heard the greatest works of any great painter or musician, is a possession added to the best things in life.  - Algernon Charles Swinburne

Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity. - Daniel Barenboim

No one should drive a hard bargain with an artist. - Ludwig Van Beethoven

What is art but a way of seeing? - Thomas Berger

Fine art, that exists for itself alone, is art in a final state of impotence. If nobody, including the artist, acknowledges art as a means of knowing the world, then art is relegated to a kind of rumpus room of the mind and the irresponsibility of the artist and the irrelevance of art to actual living becomes part and parcel of the practice of art. - Angela Carter

The defining function of the artist is to cherish consciousness. - Max Eastman

Classic art was the art of necessity: modern romantic art bears the stamp of caprice and chance. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass. - William Faulkner

In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it. - Ernst Fischer

The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public. - Henry Geldzahler

A painting in a museum probably hears more foolish remarks than anything else in the world. - Edmond and Jules De Goncourt

Art is the objectification of feeling. - Suzanne K. Langer

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted. - Henri Matisse

Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man's nature. - Ayn Rand

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth. - George Sand

I am an artist… I am here to live out loud. - Emile Zola

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.  - Abraham Maslow

The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive and more constructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person. - Frank Barron

If you practice an art, be proud of it and make it proud of you… It may break your heart, but it will fill your heart before it breaks it; it will make you a person in your own right.  - Maxwell Anderson don't paint the way someone, by observing your life, thinks you have to paint, you paint the way you have to in order to give, that's life itself, and someone will look and say it is the product of knowing, but it has nothing to do with knowing, it has to do with giving. The question about knowing will naturally be wrong. When you've finished giving, the look surprises you as well as anyone else. (from O'Hara F. Franz Kline talking. Evergreen Review, 2, No. 6. In: Ashton, D, ed. Twentieth-Century Artists on Art. New York, NY: Pantheon Books; 1985.) - Franz Kline

Painting as it is now promises to become more subtle - more like music and less like sculpture - and above all it promises color. If only it keeps this promise. - Vincent van Gogh

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more. - Vincent Van Gogh

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Art, it's a bridge between heaven and earth. - Charmion von Wiegand (1886-1983)

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. - Ernest Hemingway

Art is made in hindsight. - Virgil Abloh