"Although the primitive in art may be both interesting and impressive, as portrayed in American fiction it is conspicuous for dullness alone. Drab persons living drab lives, observed by drab minds and reported in drab writing ..."
"There is no mystery in a looking glass until someone looks into it. Then, though it remains the same glass, it presents a different face to each man who holds it in front of him. The same is true of a work of art. It has no proper existence as art until someone is reflected in it--and no two will ever be reflected in the same way. However much we all see in common in such a work, at the center we behold a fragment of our own soul, and the greater the art the greater the fragment."
"Artists have a double relationship towards nature: they are her master and her slave at the same time. They are her slave in so far as they must work with means of this world so as to be understood; her master in so far as they subject these means to their higher goals and make them subservient to them."
"The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, who follows blind instinct, strives to duplicate the reality of nature. The first one elevates art to its highest peak; the second one lowers it to its basest level."
"Art is on the side of the oppressed. Think before you shudder at the simplistic dictum and its heretical definition of the freedomof art. For if art is freedom of the spirit, how can it exist within the oppressors?"
"Art includes everything that stimulates the desire to live; science, everything that sharpens the desire to know. Art, even the most disinterested, the most disembodied, is the auxiliary of life. Born of the sensibility, it sows and creates it in its turn. It is the flower of life and, as seed, it gives back life. Science, or to use a broader term, knowledge, has its end in itself, apart from any idea of life and propagation of the species. Intelligence, that sublimation of the sensibility, that organ of the need to know, is sterilized sensibility. To know, and to know still more--the instinct for knowledge is insatiable, because the subject of knowledge is limitless."
"Recently, the Germans have developed a tendency to prefer the so-called first (youthful) style of great artists to their mature works. Could it be that they do not realize that their aesthetic criteria, generally speaking, are juvenile?"