things people say


I have been to hell and back and let me tell you, it was wonderful  (Louise Bourgeois) 

Nous vivons dans un arc-en-ciel de chaos  (Cezanne)

The greatest art always returns to the vulnerability of the human situation (Francis Bacon)

The worst thing you can think about when you’re working is yourself  (Agnes Martin)

Nothing is more boring in the world than making pictures. What you want is an experience of making something that you haven’t seen before (Philip Guston)

La peinture est vraiment difficile- vous pensez toujours que vous l’avez bien fait, mais ce n’est pas vrai     (Cezanne)

It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said  (Pollock)

My feeling is, if you do know something, then why would you do it? I feel like the idea of making something is to explore the unknown and find something new for yourself (Meredith Monk )

The one thing to say about art is that it is one thing. Art is art-is-art and everything else is everything else   (Ad Reinhardt )

Une oeuvre d’art qui n’a pas commence dans l’emotion n’est pas de l’art  (Cezanne)

Seulement quand il ne sait plus ce qu’il fait le peintre fait de bonnes choses    (Degas)

If I knew where I was going, I wouldn’t go there (Frank Gehry)

Il n’y a qu’une seule chose de valeur dans l’art: celle-ci qu’on ne peut pas expliquer (Georges Braque)

To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence  (Louise Bourgeois)

I never believe one should have any security and never expect to keep any (Francis Bacon)

I’m very careful not to have ideas, because they are not accurate (Agnes Martin) 

Art is a representation of our devotion to life   (Agnes Martin)

I’m happy when I’m painting. I like it    (Joan Mitchell)

We live in age when the traditional great subjects- the landscape, the human form, even newer traditions such as abstract expressionism – are daily devalued by commercial art  (Warhol)

Le dessin est comme un geste expressif avec l’avantage de la permanence  (Matisse)

L’exactitude n’est pas la verite  (Matisse)

I think that zinc white has a property of scaling and cracking (Edmund Hopper)

To do a painting that one knows is not art. It’s painting.  And painting’s got all sorts of interesting things about it but art is discovery, art is adding something to the world (Frank Auerbach)

A painting is like a war in your head because when you have a certain state of the painting, you have to decide- you go this way, this way, this way- and you lose 99 per cent of the possibilities because you only use one possibility, one option (Anselm Kiefer)

You’re better off with nothing than with shit (Overheard on the street)

Le gout, c’est ennemi de la creativite (Pablo Picasso)

I’m trying to summon the archaic. I want to enter into a primitive situation. This is my protest against the sensory deprivation we experience, which is due to this tendency towards globalisation, towards homogenisation, towards the generic (Philip Taaffe)

It should be something that is happening all at once, that’s inhabiting you and that you are doing, and you have one way or another managed to get yourself into that space and there’s an angel on your shoulder. That’s how you should make art. If you are plotting art and trying to make something  to get  something, you are not in a state of creative innocence. You are not making art. You are doing something else (Sean Scully)

If you are going to decide to be a painter, you have got to decide that you are not going to be afraid of making a fool of yourself (Francis Bacon)

Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it. (Jasper Johns)

Make it real because you’ve got to sleep at night knowing you’ve done your best (Graham Nash)

You know, normally you have a strong reaction and then you think you are on the right way (Anselm Kiefer)

An artist should never be a prisoner of himself,  prisoner of a style,  prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of success etc (Henri Matisse)

I put my trust in the materials that confront me, because they put me in touch with the unknown (Robert Rauschenberg)

It (art) should be a journey from the given to the not given (Sean Scully)

How important it is to know how to mix those colours which have no name and yet are the real foundation of everything (Van Gogh)

One can also cry out with bits of rubbish, and this is what I did, by gluing and nailing them together. … Everything was wrecked anyway, and what counted was to construct something from the broken pieces (Kurt Schwitters)

There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists (Jasper Johns)

It is only through the process of making that I really know… what I feel about the world (Robert Motherwell)

We were as serious as a heart attack about our music (Graham Nash)

I am not ashamed of being able to do good portraits (Kurt Schwitters)

Matisse is great because he understood paintings are things that go on walls (Howard Hodgkin)

Painting is a language of its own. You cannot interpret one form of expression with another form of expression (Marcel Duchamp)

I no longer wanted my pictures to be a collection of objects related spatially but to be an object with a presence in its own right (William Scott)

The realm of materiality is at the same time the realm of inwardness (Pere Gimferrer)

What is most interesting to me today is the material I am working with. It supplies the shock which suggests the form  (Joan Miro)

Never believe what painters say about their own work (Jeremy Annear)

Gain ground, step by step, from the darkness surrounding us (Antoni Tapies)

if you’re producin’ and creatin’, you know, you’re gettin’ closer to your own heaven (Jimi Hendrix)

I begin a painting with a series of mistakes. The painting comes out of the correction of mistakes by feeling. I begin with shapes and colours which are not related internally nor to the external world. … The final picture is the process arrested at the moment when what I was looking for flashes into view. ….Only in a state of quickened subjectivity… do I find the unknown  (Robert Motherwell)

Academic training in beauty is a sham… It is not what the artist does that counts, but what he is (Pablo Picasso)

It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess (Jackson Pollock)

I’m against incineration, because I think that in thousands of years time, if the world exists at all, it will be a bore if there’s nobody to dig up (Francis Bacon)

The moment you know what to do, you’re making just another form of illustration (Bacon)

L’art ne m’interesse pas. Seulement les artistes m’interessent (Duchamp)

He who wants to devote himself to painting  must begin by cutting out his tongue (Henri Matisse)