Quotes about Criticism
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Quotes about Criticism

Quotes about Critics

Quotes about Criticism

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A true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation. (Joseph Addison)

A writer cannot be judged for his project, only its execution. (Rumaan Alam)

The avocation of assessing the failures of better men can be turned into a comfortable livelihood, providing you back it up with a Ph.D. (Nelson Algren)

A Truckload of Art is burning near the highway and it's raging far-out of control / And what the critics have cheered is now shattered and queered and their noble reviews have been stewed on the road. (Terry Allen)

The authors of book reviews would consider themselves dishonored were they to mention, as they should, the subject of the book. (Louis Aragon)

Every good work has to face opposition, and the reaction of the opposition offered always helps the work. (Meher Baba)

There is no surer mark of the absence of the highest moral and intellectual qualities than a cold reception of excellence. (Philip James Bailey)

A critic is a bundle of biases held loosely together by a sense of taste. (Whitney Balliett)

Of course I will look at anything, but I have not got the time or the patience to keep on looking at art that I know could be better. I don't want art that needs fixing, I want art that sends me back to the studio to fix my own. (Darby Bannard)

A critic without a good eye is a eunuch in a harem. (Darby Bannard)

I don't care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right! (P. T. Barnum)

I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is. (Jean-Michel Basquiat)

-on music critics...
They are quite hopeless - drooling, driveling, doleful, depressing, dropsical drips. (Thomas Beecham)

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves. (Brendan Francis Behan)

I will try to account for the degree of my aesthetic emotion. That, I conceive, is the function of the critic. (Clive Bell)

Life has taught me that it is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated, but for our qualities. (Bernard Berenson)

Post-modernism has cut off the present from all futures. The daily media add to this by cutting off the past. Which means that critical opinion is often orphaned in the present. (John Berger)

- The Devil's Dictionary, 1911...
critic, n. A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him. (Ambrose Bierce)

And because I am happy and dance and sing, / They think they have done me no injury. (William Blake)

Critical thinking does seem a superior sort of thinking because it seems as though the critic is actually going beyond the scope of what is being criticized in order to criticize it. That is only rarely a true assumption because, most often, the critic will seize on some little aspect that he or she understands and tackle only that. (Edward de Bono)

In the critics' vocabulary, the work 'precursor' is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotations of polemics or rivalry. (Jorge Luis Borges)

I do not need the musing of the philosophers to tell me what I am doing. It would be more interesting to let me know why I am doing it. (Louise Bourgeois)

Critics should help people see for themselves; they should never try to define things, or impose their own explanations, though I admit that if... a critic's explanations serve to increase the general obscurity, that's all to the good. (Georges Braque)

It is a shame to see in the work of an artist the limitations of his critics. (Robert Brault)

An art critic is someone who hopes to see his ideas translated to canvas without having to learn how to paint. (Robert Brault)

Life is much too short to worry about art critics. (Peter William Brown)

Writers are rarely their own best critics, nor are critics. (Anthony Burgess)

- Hudibras...
He was in LOGIC a great critic, / Profoundly skill'd in analytic;... For all a rhetorician's rules / Teach nothing but to name his tools. (Samuel Butler, poet)

A man must serve his time to every trade / Save censure – critics all are ready made. (Lord Byron)

- on Margaret Keane's 'big eye' paintings (believing the lie that her husband Walter painted them)...
They're the very definition of tasteless hack work and sentimental kitsch. (John Canaday)

No person is important enough to make me angry. (Thomas Carlyle)

-to Emile Bernard...
Do not be an art critic, but paint, therein lies salvation. (Paul Cezanne)

Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic. (Raymond Chandler)

If you have no critics, you'll likely have no success. (Malcolm de Chazal)

If I had listened to the critics I'd have died drunk in the gutter. (Anton Chekhov)

When I abuse the language, I call it 'art' and call myself an artist; when you abuse the language, I call it 'wrong,' call myself a critic, and assume an air of unimpeachable authority. (Fennec A. Churl)

It doesn't upset artists to find out that artists used lenses or mirrors or other aids, but it certainly does upset the art historians. (Chuck Close)

Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Too nicely, Jonson knew the critic's part; nature in him was almost lost in Art. (John Churton Collins)

Let my enemies devour each other. (Salvador Dali)

A critic never fights the battle; they just go around shooting the wounded. (Tyne Daly)

They call me the painter of dancers. They don't understand that the dancer has been for me a pretext for painting pretty fabrics and for rendering movement. (Edgar Degas)

I'm the guy who reputedly denies that people experience colors or pains, and thinks that thermostats think - just ask my critics. (Daniel Dennett)

I've never had an easy relationship with critics. I hold a lot of homicide in my heart. If this was another time, I'd be packing a piece. (Jim Dine)

Critics are those who have failed in literature and art. (Benjamin Disraeli)

I don't feel any real animosity towards critics when they write negative things. I think some are more perceptive than others. Some are very knowledgeable about painting. But it isn't something I have any influence over, so there isn't any point in worrying about it. (Peter Doig)

Those who write ill, and they who ne'er durst write, / Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite. (John Dryden)

A non-doer is very often a critic – that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change. (Dr. Wayne Dyer)

Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them... (Dave Eggers)

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. (Albert Einstein)

If connoisseurship is the art of appreciation, criticism is the art of disclosure... Connoisseurs simply need to appreciate what they encounter. Critics, however, must render these qualities vivid by the artful use of critical disclosure. (Elliot W. Eisner)

Mortals are easily tempted to pinch the life out of their neighbour's buzzing glory, and think that such killing is no murder. (George Eliot)

I'd like to understand why it seems normal to look at astonishing achievements made by unapproachably ambitious, luminously pious, strangely obsessed artists, and toss them off with a few wry comments... (James Elkins)

Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did. (Duke Ellington)

When I was doing Professor Albert Einstein's bust he had many a jibe at the Nazi professors, one hundred of whom had condemned his theory of relativity in a book. 'Were I wrong,' he said, 'one professor would have been enough.' (Jacob Epstein)

You have to seek out situations where you get feedback [about your performance]. It's a myth that you get better when you just do the things you enjoy. (Dr. K. Anders Ericsson)

I began to wonder - I knew I was an artist or wanted to be one - but I was wondering whether I really was an artist. I was doing such ordinary things that I could feel the difference. Most people would look at those things and say, 'Well, that's nothing. What did you do that for? That's just a wreck of a car or a wreck of a man. That's nothing. That isn't art.' They don't say that anymore. (Walker Evans)

No critic writing about a film could say more than the film itself, although they do their best to make us think the opposite. (Federico Fellini)

Don't bow down to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces. (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Now, in reality, the world has paid too great a compliment to critics, and has imagined them to be men of much greater profundity then they really are. (Henry Fielding)

It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to. (W. C. Fields)

You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it. (Gustave Flaubert)

One becomes a critic when one cannot be an artist, just as a man becomes a stool pigeon when he cannot be a soldier. (Gustave Flaubert)

Every critic will see something different. (Hans Frabell)

A good critic is one who narrates the adventures of his mind among masterpieces. (Anatole France)

I sometimes think / His critical judgement is so exquisite / It leaves us nothing to admire except his opinion. (Christopher Fry)

A critic is a man created to praise greater men than himself, but he is never able to find them. (Richard Le Gallienne)

A critic is someone who meddles with something that is none of his business. (Paul Gauguin)

Slyly, banteringly, but also overbearingly, the critic – the one who does not swallow anything whole, who waits until posterity has consecrated it before... howling – is among those who howl their admiration the way they howl their insults: don't be afraid, don't tremble – the beast doesn't have any nails or teeth, or even brain: it is stuffed... (Paul Gauguin)

There is an odd assumption that compassion and care are finite or that critics can be everything to everyone - commenting on everything simply because they can. That's not what cultural criticism is. (Roxane Gay)

No one is helped when cultural critics use their voices irresponsibly. (Roxane Gay)

When I stay in the present the inner critic disappears. (Susan Geddes)

Critics are the products of their own times and biases and what they have to say about works of art is as transient and insubstantial as fashion. (Robert Genn)

Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them. (Samuel Goldwyn)

Talk to your inner critics. Find out what they have to say about you. In most cases, when you hear how extreme and absurd their criticisms are, it will be easier to dismiss them. (Sharon Good)

For all the years I'd spent talking about pictures, the truth was that I had no idea how to draw or what it felt like to do it. I would mistrust a poetry critic who couldn't produce a rhyming couplet. Could one write about art without knowing how to draw? (Adam Gopnik)

All the things you can talk about in anyone's work are the things that are least important. (Edward Gorey)

They never raised a statue to a critic. (Martha Graham)

Why can't fellows be allowed to do what they like when they like and as they like, instead of other fellows sitting on banks and watching them all the time and making remarks and poetry and things about them? (Kenneth Grahame)

Critics don't matter. Who cares about Michelangelo's critics? (Irwin Greenberg)

Be your own toughest critic. (Irwin Greenberg)

Influential critics can impact on the art output of a country and may hinder some artists as well as give others a boost. (Pamela Griffith)

You even called me stupid in your verse, and I'm almost agreeing, for where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend. (Franz Grillparzer)

Sometimes you are being interviewed by someone and you think, if I knew this person they'd be my best friend. Other times you're being interviewed by a complete jerk. (Judith Guest)

Those who can't, critique. (Andrew Hamilton)

One reviewer wrote of Monet's work: 'The most absurd daubs in that laughable collection of absurdities' and another stated that 'Monet seems to have declared war on beauty.' So much for critics. (Andrew Hamilton)

Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard. (Dag Hammarskjold)

I don't like to write like God. It is only because you never do it, though, that the critics think you can't do it. (Ernest Hemingway)

As an artist you're looking for universal triggers. You want it both ways. You want it to have an immediate impact, and you want it to have deep meanings as well. I'm striving for both. But I hate it when people write things that sound like they've swallowed a f... dictionary. (Damien Hirst)

All the world is competent to judge my pictures except those who are of my profession. (William Hogarth)

I have generally found that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it. (William Hogarth)

What is a modern poet's fate? / To write his thoughts upon a slate; / The critic spits on what is done, / Gives it a wipe – and all is gone. (Thomas Hood)

I hope my work isn't dismissed by the critics as illustration or photography. (E. J. Hughes)

Anyone can be a critic who has bravado and a following of less-experienced admirers willing to accept their authority. Anyone. (Leslie Edwards Humez)

Pontificating talkers/writers have historically been more highly revered as 'experts' on any subject than actual achievers. (Marvin Humphrey)

Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself. (Henry James)

There is a certain race of men that either imagine it their duty, or make it their amusement, to hinder the reception of every work of learning or genius, who stand as sentinels in the avenues of fame, and value themselves upon giving Ignorance and Envy the first notice of a prey. (Samuel Johnson)

Every man can exert such judgment as he has upon the works of others; and he whom Nature has made weak, and Idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of a Critic. (Samuel Johnson)

You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. (Samuel Johnson)

When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. (Chuck Jones)

If you get a bad review, you take that in your stride. (Anish Kapoor)

-Time Magazine...
The media builds you up, and then it tears you down. (Thomas Keller)

The best critic needn't be right, just interesting. (Walter Kirn)

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass! (Bob Knight)

Negative art critics are sexually frustrated. When we hang on every word of some bitchy, negative art critic, it's the same as watching someone scream on the street, publicly begging for sex. Wouldn't you be amused? (Mark Kostabi)

Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries. (Milan Kundera)

It takes a day or two to leave the critic at the door before we can truly explore. (Antoinette Ledzian)

The truth is that I am very, very keen on the opinion of the man in the street. (Robert Lenkiewicz)

Artists teach critics what to think. Critics repeat what the artists teach them. (Sol LeWitt)

I intensely dislike the word 'critic,' because it puts you in an antagonistic position to artists. I've learned everything that I know about art from artists... I see myself as an advocate and an activist and a writer. (Lucy Lippard)

Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic. (James Russell Lowell)

Some critics claim to know what art has to be and do, and consider it their task to steer art along the path they have chosen. Others receive art gladly, and try to distinguish degrees of excellence... (Norbert Lynton)

If the function of the artist is to see, the first duty of the critic is to understand what the artist saw. (J. E. H. MacDonald)

There are many out there who proudly call themselves critics, but I have come to see that many of those critics have never tested their own skill. (Alison Mackie)

When, in 1913, in a desperate attempt to rid art of the ballast of objectivity, I took refuge in the form of the square... the critics... sighed, "All that we loved has been lost. We are in a desert"... But the desert is filled with the spirit of non-objective feeling... (Kasimir Malevich)

The reproach that superficial people formulate against Manet, that whereas once he painted ugliness, now he paints vulgarity, falls harmlessly to the ground, when we recognize the fact that he paints the truth. (Stephane Mallarme)

I am a critic – as essential to the theatre as ants to a picnic. (Joseph Leo Mankiewicz)

Mystery is something critics never seem to notice. (H Margret)

Everybody's an art critic. (Judith Martin)

I was so long writing my review that I never got around to reading the book. (Groucho Marx)

A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. (Mignon McLaughlin)

A dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things to the human spirit. (Cecil B. de Mille)

Every time I make a picture the critic's estimate of American public taste goes down another ten percent. (Cecil B. de Mille)

A drama critic is a person who surprises a playwright by informing him what he meant. (Wilson Mizner)

- Faces...
Others don't bother to have opinions of people like me. (Holly Monacelli)

I despise the opinion of the press and the so-called critics. (Claude Monet)

No two men ever judged alike of the same thing, and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly similar, not only in different men but in the same men at different times. (Michel de Montaigne)

The lot of critics is to be remembered for what they failed to understand. (George Moore)

A critic is a gong at a railroad crossing clanging loudly and vainly as the train goes by. (Christopher Morley)

After all his literary efforts had come to nought and he had to wear dark glasses, he became an art critic. (Edvard Munch)

They do not believe that these impressions, these instant sensations, could contain even the smallest grain of sanity. If a tree is red or blue, or a face is blue or green, they are sure that is insanity. (Edvard Munch)

Sure I know where the press room is - I just look for where they throw the dog meat. (Martina Navratilova)

I've got the public. I don't care about the critics. I did at one time. I don't any more. I did when I needed compliments. But if you get a lot of compliments, you don't need a critic to tell you, 'This should be done another way.' (LeRoy Neiman)

What will they say about my poetry who never touched my blood? (Pablo Neruda)

Insects sting, not from malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics – they desire our blood, not our pain. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

When the critics come around it's always too late. (Sidney Nolan)

The only critic is a full house. (Rudolf Nureyev)

I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it – how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that the critics can write what they please. (Georgia O'Keeffe)

You write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don't. (Georgia O'Keeffe)

The Canadian voice is still too rustic. (Charles Olson)

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs. (John James Osborne)

It is better to get written up in the social columns than in the art critic's reviews. (Charles Pachter)

What is important, then, is not that the critic should possess a correct abstract definition of beauty for the intellect, but a certain kind of temperament, the power of being deeply moved by the presence of beautiful objects. (Walter Pater)

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care. (Randy Pausch)

If you love my work, you are a good critic. If you do not love my work, you are a 'not good' critic. (Roman Payne)

Cynics and critics wake us up. Kindness often covers up the truth and allows us to sleep on in our ignorance. (Wilfred A. Peterson)

Submit your work to interested societies for exhibition where the critics in the light of their physical well-being and according to the extent of their knowledge, may appraise them conveniently. (Walter J. Phillips)

The public is the tribunal before which all art is judged – not the critics or the academies. The public is the artist's only patron, and has certain fundamental rights. It will submit to education, and will respond to suggestion, but it will not be bullied. (Walter J. Phillips)

The sincere artist is usually his own best critic, but continuous and prolonged work on one painting will sometimes dull his judgment... The critic is in demand, but he must be competent. (Walter J. Phillips)

Pseudo-critics prefer to direct their remarks to the artist – Heaven forgive them – but one due rather to a common impression that such an attitude is the correct one, that all paintings should be figuratively mutilated, and that all artists are fair game, or really grateful perhaps for a few tips. (Walter J. Phillips)

It does not astonish me that the critics in London relegate me to the lowest rank. Alas! I fear that they are only too justified! (Camille Pissarro)

It seems this is an age of clever critics who keep bewailing the fact that there are no works worthy of criticism. (Sylvia Plath)

A critic is a legless man who teaches running. (Channing Pollock)

Nor in the critic let the man be lost. (Alexander Pope)

Some praise at morning what they blame at night, / But always think the last opinion right. (Alexander Pope)

If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practiced, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point. (Ezra Pound)

Tomorrow morning the critic will be gone, but the writer will still be there facing the blank page. Nothing matters but that he keep working. (Steven Pressfield)

The greater part of critics are parasites, who, if nothing had been written, would find nothing to write. (Joseph Priestley)

Enough if every age produce two or three critics of this esoteric class, with here and there a reader to understand them. (Thomas de Quincey)

No critic can speak louder than a bill collector. (Bob Ragland)

It's the pretentious art movies that get the praise, even if they're not good. (Brett Ratner)

I don't know anyone actually who does care what a critic says. (Lou Reed)

When one is asked to give a critique or opinion of someone's work, we should feel free to do so honestly and freely... it should then be accepted as a gift... Now if you can't do it intelligently and out of kindness then you probably deserve to be called opinionated. (William F. Reese)

In any critique of a specific work, it should always be about the work and nothing else, not the creator, not the audience. (Stella Reinwald)

It's absolutely irrelevant what galleries and critics and people who buy your paintings think. They just don't have any possible idea of what happens to you and they're really not that interested. As a matter of fact, they hate the idea that anything really happens to you. They want you to be a genius and that's it. (Milton Resnick)

-on Annigoni's portrait of Queen Elizabeth,Daily Telegraph,, 1955...
It is a fine portrait never mind what the critics say. Critics are owls, bats and fleas. They are owls because they hoot, bats because they see things upside down, and fleas because they nip. (Sir Albert Richardson)

Art criticism is only as valid as that individual's experience in life. (CJ Rider)

The abstractionist often endures the wrath or quiet dismissal of art critics and collectors. (CJ Rider)

I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too. (Norman Rockwell)

Cynicism is what passes for insight when courage is lacking. (Anita Roddick)

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. (Theodore Roosevelt)

No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating. (Harold Rosenberg)

Just because the person who criticizes you is an idiot doesn't make him wrong. (Roger Rosenblatt)

I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards. (Galen Rowell)

The fault is in the blamer - Spirit sees nothing to criticize. (Rumi)

The true work of a critic is not to make his hearer believe him, but agree with him. (John Ruskin)

Never to go overboard for an unknown artist is a sign of bad character in a critic. (John Russell)

Your entire inner world is ably represented by all the people who come into your life. So look outward for the flaws you carry inside. Much easier to see their crap than call it your own. (Gary Rutz)

When a critic knows what she or he is looking at and writes revealingly about it, it's sublime. (Charles Saatchi)

I didn't have the ability and fortitude. That's why I always look for it in others -- root for it in others -- even when the work is ugly or idiotic. (Jerry Saltz)

I want critics to be as radically vulnerable in their work as I know artists are in theirs. (Jerry Saltz)

A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach. (Friedrich Von Schlegel)

Art criticism everywhere is now at a low ebb, intellectually corrupt, swamped in meaningless jargon, distorted by political correctitudes, anxiously addressed only to other critics and their ilk. (Brian Sewell)

For I am nothing if not critical. (William Shakespeare)

A drama critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned. (George Bernard Shaw)

Every good poet includes a critic, but the reverse is not true. (William Shenstone)

Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been a statue erected to a critic. (Jean Sibelius)

-quoted in Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands & Censored Songs...
Rock 'n' roll smells phony and false. It is sung, played and written, for the most part, by cretinous goons. And, by means of its almost imbecilic reiteration, and sly, lewd and in plain fact, dirty lyrics... it manages to be the martial music of every side-burned delinquent on the face of the earth. FRANK SINATRA, (Frank Sinatra)

When I look at new work, my image bank goes into action. I pay careful attention to the names of other artists that flash in my brain as I look at the work. How many other artists exactly come to mind? There's nothing wrong with this up to a point... Obviously, the fewer names that come to mind, the greater the odds that you are looking at something fresh that you haven't quite seen before. (Roberta Smith)

If people have split views about your work, I think it's flattering. I'd rather have them feel something about it than dismiss it. (Stephen Sondheim)

The most basic question is not what is best but who shall decide what is best. (Thomas Sowell)

The critic is like a midwife - a tyrannical midwife. (Stephen Spender)

Time is the only critic without ambition. (John Steinbeck)

One way to cope with the provocations of novel art is to rest firm and maintain solid standards... set by the critic's long-practiced taste and by his conviction that only those innovations will be significant which promote the established direction of advanced art. (Leo Steinberg)

The critic interested in a novel manifestation holds his criteria and taste in reserve. Since they were formed upon yesterday's art, he does not assume that they are ready-made for today. (Leo Steinberg)

-on A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens...
It would perhaps be hard to imagine a clumsier or more disjointed framework for the display of the tawdry wares which form Mr. Dickens's stock-in-trade. The broken-back way in which the story maunders along from 1775 to 1792 and back again to 1760 or thereabouts, is an excellent instance of the complete disregard of the rules of literary composition which have marked the whole of Mr. Dickens's career as an author. No portion of his popularity is due to intellectual excellence... (Sir James Francis Stephens)

Intolerance respecting other people's religion is toleration itself in comparison with intolerance respecting other people's art. (Wallace Stevens)

Somebody will be exhibiting a bunch of bananas in a gallery, and they'll get me on to talk dirty about it. (Alexander Stoddart)

I had a dream the other day about music critics. They were small and rodent-like with padlocked ears, as if they had stepped out of a painting by Goya. (Igor Stravinsky)

I think it's unfortunate to have critics for friends. (William Styron)

They do but trace over the paths that have been beaten by the ancients; or comment, critic, and flourish upon them. (Sir William Temple)

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down... Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself. (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

One's style holds one, thankfully, at bay from the enemies of it but not from the stupid crucifixions by those who must willfully misunderstand it. (Alexander Theroux)

Diebenkorn was a very good critic, a very tough critic, tough on himself, tough on others. He expected the finest. (Wayne Thiebaud)

Sometimes I'd like everybody who is stuck, or lost, or vacant to stay that way and keep silent for as long as it takes, but that's the critic in me talking. (David Toop)

Monet's work would have been even greater if he had not abandoned figure-painting. (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec)

The man who becomes a critic by trade ceases, in reality, to be one at all. (Henry Theodore Tuckerman)

Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience of 4000 critics. (Mark Twain)

-from notebook, 1904...
The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it. (Mark Twain)

A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car. (Kenneth Tynan)

A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening. (Kenneth Tynan)

The one whose judgment counts most in your life is the one staring back in the glass. (Author unknown)

Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. (Author unknown)

A critic is like a soldier who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded. (Author unknown)

Critics are like pigs at the pastry cart. (John Updike)

The people here are idiots-idiots! There's not an hour I don't think of it. I'm shut out here and they won't let me go. I would rather be there than anywhere. (Maurice Utrillo)

Our judgments judge us, and nothing reveals us, exposes our weaknesses, more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows. (Paul Valery)

Be eager to lend a patient ear to the opinions of others and think long and hard whether whoever finds fault has reason or not to censure you. And if the answer is yes, correct the fault. If no, give the impression that you have not heard him, or if he is a man whom you respect, explain to him why he is mistaken. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Let not our proposal be disregarded on the score of our youth. (Virgil)

We don't stoop to the level of our worst critics, no matter how much we may find them to be annoying. (Jimmy Wales)

It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's 'mature' critics often are. (Alice Walker)

Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've got a pretty neck. (Eli Wallach)

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. (Andy Warhol)

I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting: 'What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!' What does that mean? (Andy Warhol)

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that's printed about him. (Orson Welles)

After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others. (Edith Wharton)

Shall the painter then... decide upon painting? Shall he be the sole critic and authority? (James Abbott McNeill Whistler)

- Whistler v. Ruskin: Art & Art Critics, 1878...
Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five. (James Abbott McNeill Whistler)

The critic leaves at curtain fall / To find, in starting to review it, / He scarcely saw the play at all / For starting to review it. (E. B. White)

Once you accept you are being judged by people who have less knowledge than yourself, then what's it worth? (Marco Pierre White)

He who silences the dissenting voice attempts to silence a truth that you cannot get from someone who 'likes' you! (J. Bruce Wilcox)

Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic – a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us. (Oscar Wilde)

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic. (Oscar Wilde)

What critics call dirty in our pictures, they call lusty in foreign films. (Billy Wilder)

Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions. (Edward O. Wilson)

Bad critics judge a work of art by comparing it to pre-existing theories. They always go wrong when confronted with a masterpiece because masterpieces make their own rules. (Robert Anton Wilson)

By the late twenties and early thirties my easel pictures were being shown and somewhat admired. Critics used the word 'illustrator' as a denigrating label. I resented the implied barrier between illustration and painting but I was too busy to enter into controversy. Both illustrator and painter are artists who are in pictorial communication. Both should be measured by their competence -- not by artificial compartments contrived by critics. (N. C. Wyeth)

I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness... The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth. (William Butler Yeats)

It's useless to try and make rhyme or reason of it, because one guy thinks one thing and the other guy sees a whole other thing. So I try not to take them too seriously. (David Zucker)