Quotes about Art

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 is very good but that most people can’t eat it. Leo Tolstoy

Art is nature speeded up and God slowed down. Malcolm de Chazal

Art is science made clear. Jean Cocteau

Art hath an enemy called ignorance. Ben Jonson

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Edgar Degas

The worst state of affairs is when science begins to concern itself with art. Paul Klee

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. Michelangelo

All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. Walter Pater

There is only one thing valuable in art; the thing you cannot explain. Georges Braque

All great art is abstract. Jean Renoir

Art is unthinkable without risk and spiritual self-sacrifice. Boris Pasternak

Art happens, no hovel is safe from it, no Prince may depend upon it, the vastest intelligence cannot bring it about, and puny efforts to make it universal end in quaint comedy, and coarse farce. James Macneill Whistler

People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love. Claude Monet

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it. Duke Ellington

There is no art when one does something without intention. Duke Ellington

Art is on the side of the oppressed. Nadine Gordimer

Art should astonish, transmute, transfix. One must work at the tissue between truth and paranoia. Brett Whiteley

The most fundamental reason one paints is in order to see. Brett Whiteley

Art is the thrilling spark that beats death – thats all. Brett Whiteley

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

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams

I think the first duty of all art, including fiction of any kind, is to entertain. That is to say, to hold interest. No matter how worthy the message of something , if it’s dull, you’re just not communicating. Poul Anderson

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it. Anthony Burgess

Art is a concrete and personal and rather childish thing after all – no matter what people do to graft it into science and make it sociological and psychological; it is no good at all unless it is let alone to be itself – a game of make-believe, or re-production, very exciting and delightful to people who have an ear for it or an eye for it. Willa Cather

Art, it seems to me, should simplify. Willa Cather

The new job of art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive. Robert Hughes

I make pictures and someone comes in and calls it art. Willem de Kooning

The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people. Norman Mailer

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. Rainer Maria Rilke

Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization. Lincoln Steffens

As always art is the pulse of a nation. Gertrude Stein

There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause. Mao Zedong

To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. Oscar Wilde

Balance is the enemy of art. Richard Eyre

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession. Albert Camus

Art and ideology often interact on each other; but the plain fact is that both spring from a common source. Both draw on human experience to explain mankind to itself; both attempt, in very different ways, to assemble coherence from seemingly unrelated phenomena; both stand guard for us against chaos. Kenneth Tynan

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

Art for art’s sake? I should think so, and more so than ever at the present time. It is the one orderly product which our middling race has produced. It is the cry of a thousand sentinels, the echo from a thousand labyrinths, it is the lighthouse which cannot be hidden, it is the best evidence we can have of our dignity. E M Forster

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. Jean-Luc Godard

Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same. Pointless, and yet necessary, that’s hard for a puritan to understand. Gunther Grass

A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind. Eugene Ionesco

Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art. Kenneth Tynan

Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane. Theodor Adorno

Art is meant to disturb. Georges Braque

Art is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary. Paul Gauguin

All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography. Federico Fellini

All art is a revolt against man’s fate. Andre Malraux

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see. Paul Klee

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth. Pablo Picasso

The object of art is to give life a shape. Jean Anouilh

Art distils sensation and embodies it with enhanced meaning. Jacques Barzun

Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. Marshall McLuhan

All art is but imitation of nature. Seneca