art quotations

quotations by famous artists and creative writers
on creativity, painting, abstract artworks and the creative process
philosophy, abstraction and art appreciation


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Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
Charles Mingus

The painter should not paint what he sees,
but what will be seen.
Paul Klee

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance
of things, but their inward significance.

Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.
I prefer to see with closed eyes
Josef Albers

Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with 'reality,' next to the 'real' world.
Wassily Kandinsky

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes...   Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind.  It is an explosion into unknown areas.
Arshile Gorky

What does that represent? There was never any question in plastic art, in poetry, in music, of representing anything. It is a matter of making something beautiful, moving, or dramatic this is by no means the same thing.
Fernand Leger

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly'.
Vincent Van Gogh

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter.
Henri Matisse

In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music.
Paul Gauguin


Abstract art should be enjoyed just as music is enjoyed after a while you may like it or you may not.
Jackson Pollock

In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music.
Paul Gauguin

Without art, the crudeness of reality
would make the world unbearable.
George Bernard Shaw

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
Pablo Picasso

Great art picks up where nature ends.
Marc Chagall

In our fine arts, not imitation, but creation is the aim... The details, the prose of nature, he should omit, and give us only the spirit and splendour.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In a successful painting everything is integral all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are removing its wholeness.
Richard Diebenkorn

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together make genius.  Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

I do the same thing everyday. I go to work and paint. I try to turn out as many pictures as I can.
Andy Warhol

The chief function of colour should be to serve expression. Henri Matisse

featured artwork

low rise abstract geometric wall sculpture bas-relief artwork

685  Low rise
91x91x4cm / 36x36x2in, bas-relief, coloured recycled wood assembly on board

Ernie Gerzabek Artist Gallery


Ernie Gerzabek 2000-2016

My favourite art quotations are listed here, quotations by famous artists and creative writers.  The subjects covered include: creativity, painting, abstract artworks
and the creative process, art philosophy, abstraction and art appreciation. The emphasis is on creativity in art painting and sculpture, art theory and philosophy.