Quotes about Art

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If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant.

All great art, and today all great artlessness, must appear extreme to the mass of men, as we know them today. It springs from the anguish of great souls. From the souls of men not formed, but deformed in factories whose inspiration is pelf.
A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.
To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.
Art -- the one achievement of Man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised.
The contemporary thing in art and literature is the thing which doesn't make enough difference to the people of that generation so that they can accept it or reject it.
The vitality of a new movement in Art must be gauged by the fury it arouses.
Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible. By getting us used to what, formerly, we could not bear to see or hear, because it was too shocking, painful, or embarrassing, art changes morals.
Art is the signature of civilizations.
All art is an imitation of nature.
The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.
Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.
The artist is the child of his time; but woe to him if he is also its disciple, or even its favorite.
As noble Art has survived noble nature, so too she marches ahead of it, fashioning and awakening by her inspiration. Before Truth sends her triumphant light into the depths of the heart, imagination catches its rays, and the peaks of humanity will be glowing when humid night still lingers in the valleys.
The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal.
Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change.
I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.
What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.
Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith.
Only conservatives believe that subversion is still being carried on in the arts and that society is being shaken by it. Advanced art today is no longer a cause --it contains no moral imperative. There is no virtue in clinging to principles and standards, no vice in selling or in selling out.
I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need. [when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues.]
What better way to prove that you understand a subject than to make money out of it?
Surely all art is the result of one's having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, where no one can go any further.
Art, whose honesty must work through artifice, cannot avoid cheating truth.
There is the falsely mystical view of art that assumes a kind of supernatural inspiration, a possession by universal forces unrelated to questions of power and privilege or the artist's relation to bread and blood. In this view, the channel of art can only become clogged and misdirected by the artist's concern with merely temporary and local disturbances. The song is higher than the struggle.
Art is too serious to be taken seriously.
He bores me. He ought to have stuck to his flying machine. [On Leonardo Da Vinci]
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.
The perfection of art is to conceal art.
A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left.
Good art however immoral is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
But the one thing you should. not do is to suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts ONLY.
Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts.
The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.
Through art we express our conception of what nature is not.
Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors.
Wherever art appears, life disappears.
What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.
Art is a form of catharsis.

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