Quotes about Moderation
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Quotes about Moderation

Quotes about Modernism


Quotes about Moderation

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104 art quotes about Modernism found | Share this page of quotes about Modernism on Facebook

Postmodernism is, almost by definition, a transitional cusp of social, cultural, economic and ideological history when modernism's high-minded principles and preoccupations have ceased to function, but before they have been replaced with a totally new system of values. (Gilbert Adair)

In sharp contrasts to traditional art, modern art does not hide the fact that it is something made and produced: on the contrary, it underscores the fact. (Theodor W. Adorno)

Modernity is a qualitative, not a chronological, category. (Theodor W. Adorno)

Too many modern painters set themselves satisfied with just a coincidence, the spot in its raw, meaningless form. (Pierre Alechinsky)

Pop art is neither abstract nor realistic, though it has contacts in both directions. The core of pop art is at neither frontier. It is essentially, an art about signs and sign-systems. (Lawrence Alloway)

Modern art is supported by the audacious. (Jill Badonsky)

Postmodernism is silly and joyless at the same time. (Darby Bannard)

Postmodernism is Modernism with Alzheimer's. (Darby Bannard)

Postmodernism lives in the academy, where words abandon reality to serve ambition, and reputations rise on hot air. (Darby Bannard)

While majority opinion may not take kindly to forms of modern art, that same majority has also been hostile to most original and radical innovations, such as automobiles or airplanes or transatlantic cables or Protestantism or the theory that the earth is round and not flat. (Alfred H. Barr Jr.)

I had always loved expressionist painting, like every European. In fact I admired it all the more because these were precisely the paintings despised by my father's generation. (Georg Baselitz)

Pop art is the inedible raised to the unspeakable. (Leonard Baskin)

Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable. (Charles Baudelaire)

To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art - that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts. (Charles Baudelaire)

You are born modern, you do not become so. (Jean Baudrillard)

To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

-b.1889 d.1975...
Modern French painting is all right; it has produced many beautiful and interesting things, fully worthy of admiration, but it has also set up response habits among our artistic authorities which have worked against a free approach to other artistic forms. (Thomas Hart Benton)

Modern art was motivated at least in part by an attempt to avoid appropriating and be original. Seemed to work for a while, but look at it now. (Robert Bissett)

Pop's origins may well be far less art and far more non-art, and its patron saints not Giotto and Michelangelo at all, but Henry Ford and Foster & Kleiser. (Harriet Janis and Rudi Blesh)

I do not think my painting has ever been revolutionary. It was not directed against any kind of painting. I have never wanted to prove that I was right and someone else wrong... (Georges Braque)

Modern artists say their work is "not meant to be beautiful. Is their any doubt they have succeeded?... The disregard for the craft of art seems no accident. (Scott Burdick)

This is great art, we've been told this by the great pundits of our age. And in consequence why should we bother to learn? There's nothing more delightful than to be told, 'You don't have to learn, my boy. There's nothing in it. Modern art? There's nothing in it.' (Anthony Burgess)

A 'modern' man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice. (Elias Canetti)

-on the Group of Seven...
How the acceptance to new trends in the visual arts has advanced since the days of the Group! (A. J. Casson)

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea. (John Ciardi)

I shall never forget what I saw at the Museum of Modern Art: in a spotless schoolroom, fifty little girls painting away at tables covered with brushes, pots, tubes, bowls, staring into space and sticking out their tongues like the clever animals that ring a bell, tongues lolling and eyes vague. Teachers supervise these young creators of abstract art and slap their wrists if what they paint represents something and dangerously inclines toward realism. The mothers – still at the Picasso stage – are not admitted. (Jean Cocteau)

Figures and objects in modern painting may appear distorted... The special forms, evolved from the relation of color masses, line and composition, to express the painter's reaction to objects, will be the reason for a painting's existence. (Robert Colquhoun)

Do not strive to be a modern artist: it's the one thing unfortunately you can't help being. (Salvador Dali)

This grandiose tragedy that we call modern art. (Salvador Dali)

What we disparage as perhaps tasteless modernism will, possibly in the future, be considered 'quaint.' (Alan Dorrell)

-satirical couplet from The Meaning of Modernism...
Of all sad fates, the Avant-Garde's is the worst; / They were going nowhere, and they got there first. (Louis Dudek)

It is perhaps due to the fact that our own modern art is often content to work from low irrational levels of the mind alone, that our civilization has become so receptive to the art of other civilizations... the complex diffuse substructure of all art. (Anton Ehrenzweig)

It is as if only irrelevance can be promoted as art. (James Elkins)

Modern paintings often seem to have been made quickly, by comparison with the paintings of earlier centuries, and that seems to give us the license to look at them quickly - to consume them and move on. (James Elkins)

Perpetual moderness is the measure of merit in every work of art. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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

In the late 20th century the artist was finally able to transcend his art. The artist became more important than his art. The idea became more important than the execution. Things that were once considered theatre were now classed as fine art. (Art T. Fact)

It was the least talented students who became the strongest advocates of the new fads. I have never known one first-class artist who has taken up modernism. (Kenneth Forbes)

-scorning modern art, 1954...
I am doing what I want to do - painting pictures people want and understand. I have no burning ambition to create the kind of 'art' which the confused critics praise for its 'plastic significance,' 'fluid lines,' and 'inner awareness,' or (heaven forbid) 'must be understood on three levels.' (Arnold Friberg)

It is one of the primary motives of modern art that it wants to abolish the distance which the viewer, the consumer, the audience maintain vis-a-vis a work of art. There is no doubt that the leaders of the creative artists of the last 50 years concentrated their efforts mainly on eliminating that distance. (Hans-Georg Gadamer)

One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together. (Jean-Luc Godard)

The edge in modern painting is charged with neurosis; it meets a world that no longer confirms it but which is hostile or at best indifferent. (Andrew Graham-Dixon)

Realistic, naturalistic art had dissembled the medium, using art to conceal art; Modernism used art to call attention to art. (Clement Greenberg)

Decoration is asked to be 'merely' pleasing, 'merely' embellishing, and the 'functional' logic of Modernism leaves no room, apparently, for such 'mereness.' This is part of the pity of Modernism, one of the sacrifices it enjoins... (Clement Greenberg)

I wore one of my (Yves) Tanguy earrings and one made by (Alexander) Calder in order to show my impartiality between Surrealist and Abstract Art. (Peggy Guggenheim)

Post-modernism is modernism with the optimism taken out. (Robert Hewison)

Modernism is the protein of our cultural imagination. (Robert Hughes)

I have never been against new art as such; some of it is good, much is crap, most is somewhere in between. (Robert Hughes)

I was the least Pop of all the Pop artists. (Robert Indiana)

-The Guardian, July 12, 2004...
Sickert was a creep. But for some reason, so are all the best British modern painters. If he smashes people's faces, so does Francis Bacon. If he makes bodies look blotchy and sad, so does Lucian Freud. Both artists are deeply indebted to Sickert. (Jonathan Jones)

I noticed that the large windows between the paintings [in the Musee d'Art Moderne] interested me more than the art exhibited. From then on, painting as I had known it was finished for me. (Ellsworth Kelly)

Rauschenberg helped to obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art - not to mention between art and life. (Michael Kimmelman)

-regarding art critic Jerry Saltz's take on 'deskilling'...
This is a modern conundrum. Should those of us who live for aesthetics and beauty leave Rome for the Huns? (Sharon Knettell)

No matter how brilliant, amusing or intelligent the creek of abstraction, Dadaism, Minimalism and Conceptualism of the 20th century was, it didn't much affect the historical river of figuration. I predict that in 50 years and in 300 years, figurative art will still be strong and important. (Mark Kostabi)

I have lived among enough painters and around studios to have had all the theories – and how contradictory they are – rammed down my throat. A man has to have a gizzard like an ostrich to digest all the brass-tacks and wire nails of modern art theories. (D. H. Lawrence)

Conceptual art became the liberating idea that gave the art of the next 40 years its real impetus. (Sol LeWitt)

Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn't look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself. (Roy Lichtenstein)

History reveals that left-brain people have been creating art for a long time now. (David Louis)

We see all around us the dire results of the modernists' attempt to ignore everything that went before. (Art and Architecture Manifesto)

War is the highest form of modern art. (Tommaso Marinetti)

Modern music is as dangerous as cocaine. (Pietro Mascagni)

Because a work does not aim at reproducing the natural appearance it is not... an escape from life... it may be a penetrating into reality... a stimulation to greater effort in living. (Henry Moore)

For a hundred years, modern painters, stubbornly and in the face of incessant hostility, have moved, step by step, leaving superb monuments by the wayside, towards an art of arrangement whose expressiveness depends less and less upon its elements imitating the objects of the external world. (Robert Motherwell)

Most painting in the European tradition was painting the mask. Modern art rejected all that. Our subject matter was the person behind the mask. (Robert Motherwell)

The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with. (Robert Motherwell)

The impulse of modern art is the desire to destroy beauty. (Barnett Newman)

I am not the avant-garde. I am the artist who comes after the advancing guard. I am more concerned with continuity of ideas and tradition than in inventing a unique imagery. (Nathan Oliveira)

The modern artist, it seems to me, is working and expressing an inner world in other words – expressing the energy, the motion and other inner forces. (Jackson Pollock)

New needs need new techniques. And the modern artists have found new ways and new means of making their statements... the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture. (Jackson Pollock)

The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting. (Ezra Pound)

In general, modern art... has been inspired by a natural desire to chart the uncharted. (Herbert Read)

The modernists look down on the realists because everything is based on meaningless skills and no concept. The natural realists look down on the modernists for lack of basic skills and only dealing with concept. Each group has surrounded itself with meaningless parameters and rules. (William F. Reese)

That is why my pictures don't look like modern art. It's some sort of timidity on my part I'm sure. (Paula Rego)

-b.1917 d.2004...
Painting is... a correspondence between what you are and what you see. It's a moment when something is holding together in such a way that it is a universe in itself... Within this is a test and also a judgment upon yourself, your capabilities, your promises, and the part that you play in the world. And nobody else can test that for you. Certainly not the Museum of Modern Art. (Milton Resnick)

I am the declared enemy of Extreme Modernism, which I define as shock art, squirt-gun art, and angry art. My mission is to promote art that enriches the soul, and to return the art world to its long heritage of magnificence. (B. Eric Rhoads)

-about her optically vibrant paintings, called 'Op Art'...
The eye can travel over the surface in a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience frictions and ruptures, glide and drift. One moment, there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events. (Bridget Riley)

Modern art did not just happen. It came as a result of a deep reversal of spiritual values in the Age of Reason, a movement that in the course of a little more than two centuries changed the world. (H. R. Rookmaaker)

Form, color, composition, drawing, are auxiliaries, any one of which... can be dispensed with. (Harold Rosenberg)

Many with careers in the art world are intimidated, and afraid to speak out against the gospels of Modernist theory. (Kara Ross)

Modern art must strike out from the old. The new is not revealed to those whose eyes are fastened in worship upon the old. (Albert Pinkham Ryder)

It's impossible in our postmodern era for anyone to be original--for anybody to do what Jackson Pollock did... (Irving Sandler)

Many works of the ancients have become fragments. Many works of the moderns are fragments at the time of their origin. (Friedrich Von Schlegel)

Much modern art is, at first sight, unnerving... in the contemporary world, we have come to expect instant response and immediate understanding. (Nicholas Serota)

For we which now behold these present days have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. (William Shakespeare)

The movement of abstract art... bears within itself at almost every point the mark of the changing material and psychological conditions surrounding modern culture. (Meyer Shapiro)

When people see one of these new forms of art for the first time, often they can't make sense of it. Then, if it's around long enough, a lot of people get used to it and it becomes assimilated into culture. So there's a morphic field both for the kind of art and for the appreciation of it. (Rupert Sheldrake)

Do I like Modern Art? Most emphatically, NO! How does so much appalling rubbish get on to canvas?... These men who paint a woman with a great eye in some remote section of her anatomy, five arms and ten legs, fingers like bunches of bananas, ought to be struck like it themselves. They should be put away where they can do less harm. The trouble is, they can't do a good drawing, so they try, and unfortunately succeed, in getting notoriety by doing freak work. (Eileen Soper)

Modernism is a very intellectual movement, and beauty's been out of fashion in the art world for quite a while - it's seen as corny... We rework the Old Masters because they inspire us. (Doug and Mike Starn)

There is no such thing as modern art. There is art - and there is advertising. (Albert Sterner)

Conceptual art is entirely word-bound. It is, in fact, the kind of art that is exhausted in its verbal description. (Alexander Stoddart)

It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it's a painting, and if you can walk around it it's a sculpture. (Tom Stoppard)

The newer people of this modern age are more eager to amass than to realize. (Rabindranath Tagore)

There's this expression called postmodernism, which is kind of silly, and destroys a perfectly good word called modern, which now no longer means anything. (Twyla Tharp)

Modern art, whether in painting or poetry or music, began as a probe and not as a package. (Author unknown)

-defender of modern art...
It could be that there's really something deeply important hidden beyond our ability to interpret it. (Author unknown)

If insanity is defined by the inability to see reality, then much of modern art was a headlong plunge into Platonic form-chasing, zooming past reality to the unreal, that ended up with reality reduced to almost nothing. (Mike Vandy)

Surface is a modernist concept. What surface does is to encourage one to see the painting as object rather than as a window on the world. (Kay WalkingStick)

Democracy, material wealth, and universal education are the soil upon which modernism exists. (Ai Weiwei)

-The Friends of Photography, 1986...
Modern Art is being used to index me. Surely it was a source but photographers have influenced Modern Art quite as deeply as they have been influenced, maybe more. Anyway painters don't have a copyright on M. A. We were all born in the same upheaval. (Edward Weston)

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before. (Edith Wharton)

The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened. (Tom Wolfe)

Jackson Pollock, with his passionate hurlings and dribblings of paint, is its outstanding producer of 'verbs.' (Theodore F. Wolff)

Piet Mondrian, with his precisely defined, irreducible images of right angles and primary colors, is modernism's champion painter of 'nouns.' (Theodore F. Wolff)

-b.1871 d.1957...
Most painting now is suffering from inbreeding; but there are signs that some of the painter boys are realizing that life is still here tumbling about. (Jack B. Yeats)


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Last modified: August 22, 2014