Robert Motherwell Quotes


The public's appetite for famous people is a mouth as big as a mountain.

Wherever art appears life disappears.

Art is an experience not an object.

It's not that the creative act and the critical act are simultaneous. It's more like you blurt something out and then analyze it.

For a painter as abstract as myself the collages offer a way of incorporating bits of the everyday world into pictures.

I have been continuously aware that in painting I am always dealing with... a relational structure. Which in turn makes permission 'to be abstract' no problem at all.

One of the most striking of abstract art's appearances is her nakedness an art stripped bare.

Abstract expressionism was the first American art that was filled with anger as well as beauty.

Abstract art is uniquely modern. It is a fundamentally romantic response to modern life - rebellious individualistic unconventional sensitive irritable.

It is sometimes forgotten how much wit there is in certain works of abstract art. There is a certain point in undergoing anguish when one encounters the comic.

I never had the... common anxiety as to whether abstract painting had a given 'meaning.

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

It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of individual's and society's self-deception.

It is the medium or the specific configuration of the medium that we call a work of art that brings feeling into being...

Collage is the twentieth century's greatest innovation

Art is much less important than life but what a poor life without it.

To end up with a canvas that is no less beautiful than the empty canvas is to begin with.

If you can't find your inspiration by walking around the block one time go around two times-but never three.

If you can't find your inspiration by walking around the block one time go around two blocks-but never three.

In the brush doing what it is doing it will stumble on what one could not do by oneself.

I feel most real to myself in the studio.

To pick up a cigarette wrapper or wine label or an old letter or the end of a carton is my way of dealing with those things that do not originate in me in my I.

By far the most common task for which the machines are used is writing - or word processing as it's known to the same people who call journalism 'content.

The abstractness of modern art has to do with how much an enlightened mind rejects of the contemporary social order.

I dislike a picture that is too suave or too skilfully done. But contrariwise I also dislike a picture that looks too inept or blundering.

The main thing is not to be dead.

I almost never start with an image. I start with a painting idea an impulse usually derived from my own world.

It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of self-deception.

Each brushstroke is a decision.

Without ethical consciousness a painter is only a decorator.

Painting that does not radiate feeling is not worth looking at. The deepest-and rarest-of grown-up pleasures is true feeling.

A subject emerges from an interaction between my self my I and my medium.

For twenty years I read a book a day from the time I was seven until I was twenty-seven.

I started with straight basic symbolic structures. My problem now is the opposite; as I get older I try to make my paintings more contrapuntal richer.

Every picture one paints involves not painting others.

The problems of inventing a new language are staggering. But what else can one do if one needs to express one's feeling precisely?

It's possible to paint a monumental picture that's only 10 inches wide if one has a sense of scale which is very different from a sense of size.

Any incentive to paint is as good as any other. There is no poor subject.

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist over a rainbow trail.

In the end I realize that whatever meaning that picture has is the accumulated meaning of ten thousand brushstrokes each one being decided as it was painted.

If one were to ask a painter what he felt about anything his just response - though he seldom makes it - would be to paint it and in painting to find out...

Painting is a medium in which the mind can actualize itself; it is a medium of thought. Thus painting like music tends to become its own content.

It is true that every artist has his own religion.

One's art is just one's effort to wed oneself to the universe to unify oneself through union.