Art is an illusion that tells the truth.
"I felt (and continue to feel) that an abstract painting can be
the fullest and most complete expression of our sophisticated
and highly urbanized society, as well as an expression of who
made it, and the natural world around us. "
........Piri Halasz, From the Mayor's Doorstep, December 2001/January
Nonetheless, pure abstract art will endure, in part because it
keeps alive the idea of quality -- or of the possibility of quality
-- in an art world that is all but indifferent to it. Quality
may in fact be a dead idea. It is certainly beside the point of
all the ideological/advocacy art around. Pure abstract art will
also endure because there will always be a human need for a separate,
seemingly sacred space -- if only in the metaphorical form of
art -- in which one can find sanctuary from the swindle of the
world, as Adorno called it, and recover a sense of what it means
to be, in all one's uniqueness.
Faites des lignes, beaucoup de lignes, soit d'après le souvenir,
soit d'après nature, et vous serez un bon artiste.
Importance is derived from the immanence of infinitude in the
But expression is founded on the finite occasion. It is the activity
of finitude impressing itself on its environment. The laws of
nature are large average effects which reign impersonally. Whereas,
there is nothing average about expression....
...............A. N. Whitehead
"Deleuze says that it's something quite marvelous, a whole evolution,
and when one is old, one has a certain idea of what one hopes
to do that becomes increasingly pure, more and more purified.
Deleuze says he conceives of the famous Japanese line drawings,
lines that are so pure and then there is nothing, nothing but
little lines. That's how he conceives of an old man's project,
something that would be so pure, so nothing, and at the same time,
everything, marvelous. He means this as reaching a sobriety, something
that can only come late in life."
..............From an Interview with Gilles Deleuze (<Gilles Deleuze's
ABC Primer, with Claire Parnet>
Directed by Pierre-André Boutang (1996)
"In this kind of manifestation of Zen, I think there is something
unique, something both extraordinary and artistic. When in the
raising of a hand or in a single step something of Zen is present,
that Zen content seems to me to possess a very specific, artistic
quality. A narrow conception of art might not accept that such
manifestations contain anything artistic, but to me it seems that
they possess an artistic quality that ordinarily cannot be seen.
In fact, in such vital workings of Zen, I believe that something
not merely artistic but also beyond art is involved, something
toward which art should aim as its goal."
..............Zen in Fine Art, H. S. Hisamatsu
"I like to look at the intellectual side of things, but I don't
like the word "intellect." For me intellect is too dry a word,
too inexpressive. I like the word "belief." In general when people
say "I know," they don't know, they believe. Well, for my part,
I believe that art is the only form of activity in which man,
as man, shows himself to be a true individual who is capable of
going beyond the animal state. Art is an outlet towards regions
which are not ruled by space and time. To live is to believe,
that's my belief."
..............Marcel Duchamp to James Johnson Sweeney
"(abstract paintings)....." make visible a reality that we can
neither see or describe, but whose existence we can postulate.
We denote this reality in negative terms : the unknown, the incomprehensible,
In abstract painting we have found a better way of gaining access
to the unvisualizable, the incomprehensible ; because abstract
painting deploys the most visual immediacy - all of the resources
of art in fact - in order to depict "nothing" ......"
"In art the mass of people no longer seeks consolation and exaltation,
but those who are refined, rich, unoccupied, who are distillers
of quintessences, seek what is new, strange, original, extravagant,
scandalous. I myself, since cubism and before, have satisfied
these masters and critics with all the changing oddities which
passed through my head, and the less they understood me the more
they admired me."
.............Picasso to Giovanni Papini, in Libro Nero,1952
Philosophy, however, rarely transcends its epoch. It lasts only
until it is time for human knowledge to make another leap, to
go beyond itself once more. But, if anything human is eternal,
art is eternal. Unintended, spontaneous, it is closest to our
lives : Like life itself, it is purposeless. Its only end is art
itself. It is created painfully and by necessity, just as life
is lived painfully and by necessity."
"Our obsession with the idea of genius has led us into another
fallacy : that the style is the man. But just as in physics we
begin to realize the extent of our knowledge what we can know
and what we can never know so in art we have reached the extremes
in techniques. We have used words in all the extreme ways, sounds
in all the extreme ways, shapes and colours in all the extreme
ways; all that remains is to use them within the bounds of the
extreme ways already developed. We have reached the end of our
field. Now we must come back, and discover other occupations than
reaching the end of fields.
What will matter finally is intention ; not instrumentation. It
will be skill in expressing one's meaning with styles, not just
in one style carefully selected and developed to signal one's
individuality rather than to satisfy the requirements of the subject
matter. This is not to remove the individual from art or to turn
artistic creation into a morass of pastiche ; if the artist has
any genuine originality it will pierce through all its disguises.
The whole meaning and commitment of the person who creates will
permeate his creations, however varied their outward form."
............the Aristos.......John Fowles