"The situation is that of him who is helpless, cannot act, in the event cannot paint, since he is obliged to paint. The act is of him who, helpless, unable to act, acts, in the event paints, since he is obliged to paint."
"We all agree now--by "we" I mean intelligent people under sixty--that a work of art is like a rose. A rose is not beautiful because it is like something else. Neither is a work of art. Roses and works of art are beautiful in themselves. Unluckily, the matter does not end there: a rose is the visible result of an infinitude of complicated goings on in the bosom of the earth and in the air above, and similarly a work of art is the product of strange activities in the human mind."
"Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. Art is the aesthetic ordering of experience to express meanings in symbolic terms, and the reordering of nature--the qualities of space and time--in new perceptual and material form. Art is an end in itself; its values are intrinsic. Technology is the instrumental ordering of human experience within a logic of efficient means, and the direction of nature to use its powers for material gain. But art and technology are not separate realms walled off from each other. Art employs techne, but for its own ends. Techne, too, is a form of art that bridges culture and social structure, and in the process reshapes both."
"The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment bythe public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion."
"The man who, from the beginning of his life, has been bathed at length in the soft atmosphere of a woman, in the smell of her hands, of her bosom, of her knees, of her hair, of her supple and floating clothes, ... has contracted from this contact a tender skin and a distinct accent, a kind of androgyny without which the harshest and most masculine genius remains, as far as perfection in art is concerned, an incomplete being."
"Often, while contemplating works of art, not in their easily perceptible materiality, in the too-clear hieroglyphs of their contours or the obvious meaning of their subject, but in the soul with which they are endowed, in the atmospheric impression that they convey, in the spiritual light or darkness which they pour into our souls, I have felt entering into me a kind of vision of the childhood of their creators. Some little sorrow, some small pleasure of the child, inordinately inflated by an exquisite sensibility, become later on in the adult man, even without his knowing it, the basis of a work of art.... Genius is nothing but childhood clearly formulated, newly endowed with virile and powerful means of self-expression."
"Drawing is a struggle between nature and the artist, in which the better the artist understands the intentions of nature, the moreeasily he will triumph over it. For him it is not a question of copying, but of interpreting in a simpler and more luminous language."
"A good performance, like a human life, is a temporal affair--a process in time. It is good as a whole through being good in its parts, and through their good order to one another. It cannot be called good as a whole until it is finished. During the process all we can say of it, if we speak precisely, is that it is becoming good. The same is true of a whole human life. Just as the whole performance never exists at any one time, but is a process of becoming, so a human life is also a performance in time and a process of becoming. And just as the goodness that attaches to the performance as a whole does not attach to any of its parts, so the goodness of a human life as a whole belongs to it alone, and not to any of its parts or phases."
"Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values."