EVERYONE WANTS TO UNDERSTAND ART. Why not try to understand the song of a bird?—Pablo Picasso.

THE LANGUAGE IMPOSES ITSELF quite strongly: it says, “You are trying to bend me to your inner experiences, but I cannot change the character of my limitations simply because I am not the same thing as your inner experiences though I may exist through them. Make a copy of what you see in nature but do not confuse this copy with emotional experiences that really consider or incorporate me”.… One of the important problems of the artists, therefore, is knowing how to bring the language of drawing and painting into relationship with feeling and idea.—Allen Leepa in The Challenge of Modern Art.

THE OBSERVER must learn to look at the picture as a representation of mood and not as a representation of object.—Wassily Kandinsky, of his work.

TO INHIBIT EXPERIMENT is to cut the jugular vein of creativity and to invite stagnation.… By probing beneath surface reality to emphasize basic order and structure, abstract art reveals a search for absolutes. Is not Christianity based on absolutes? Expressionists disclose personal emotional concepts on canvas. Is not Christianity concerned with the “inner man”? Modern art’s preoccupation with art theory forfeits communication to many, but underlying principles of design are essential to good art of any style, from the realistic to the non-objective. These principles are incorporated within the orderly scheme of creation which was initiated and is sustained by Jesus Christ.—Jane Lauber, artist.

MAN … HAS MADE OF ARDEN a landscape of death. In this garden I dwell, and in limning the horror, the degradation and the filth, I hold the cracked mirror up to nature.—Leonard Baskin, artist.

IT SEEMS TO ME that whether by conscious faith in God or by subconscious reaction man, the artist, has not ceased in his eternal wonder at the internal and external design of this universe. What the realistic vision of today’s pop artist perceives in the junkyards of our time may be working a kind of magic against our materialistic society. Is this magic so different from the wall paintings of Altamira? It is indeed an inescapable fact of history that the greatest art has communicated a truth more important than the art itself. Whether or not this new realism will bring truths as great as the Parthenon or the Chartres Cathedral, we can only wait through the dawn of its controversial popularities, its negative, anti-art monotones, its vitalities, knowing that it is a genuine expression of our time.—George Beattie, painter, and teacher of creative drawing at the School of Architecture of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

THE CHAOS, the messiness, the globs of paint, the extreme subjectivism of so much that is shown today under the label of abstract impressionism, has become intolerable.—Emily Genauer in the New York Herald Tribune.

THE BULK OF ABSTRACT ART in America has followed the course of least resistance and quickest profit.… [It] allows exceptional tolerance for incompetence and deception.—John Canaday, art critic of the New York Times.

SO WHAT HAPPENS when you take away the Virgin, and your feeling for her, and even your ability to make her image, and leave only the idea of her on a flat surface? Pretty soon you have only the idea of paint. Then Malevich with white-on-white. Then the bare canvas. Then nothing.—Jacques Lipchitz, sculptor.

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM reflects the facelessness of our time. We’re falling for decor. And the so-called critics aren’t helping matters.—Mark Tobey, artist.

CONTEMPORARY ART is constantly inviting us to applaud the destruction of values which we still cherish, while the positive cause, for the sake of which the sacrifice is made, is rarely made clear. So that the sacrifices appear as acts of demolition … without any motive.—Leo Steinberg in Harper’s.

IN THOSE SPECIAL REALMS OF ART, above all painting, that once recorded the greatest freedom and creativeness, we find in our age that the symbols of the deepest expression of emotion and feeling are a succession of dehumanized nightmares.… The maimed fantasies, the organized frustrations that we see in every comprehensive exhibition of painting today are the evidence of a deeper personal abdication.… Man has become an exile in this mechanical world.… When society is healthy, the artist re-enforces its health; but when it is ailing, he too easily re-enforces its ailments.—Lewis Mumford, author.

THE NON-OBJECTIVE PAINTING claims validity only for its mechanics, for the material with which it is made and the manner of their organization. It rejects man, his life, his visions, his philosophies, his future.… There is no moral reason why art ought to go on if it has nothing further to express. Nor is there any moral or esthetic reason why the public ought to bend the knee in reverence before the mere fact of art.—Ben Shahn, artist.

I AM A BELIEVER and a conformist. Anyone can revolt.—Georges Rouault.

TO ADMIT FOR ONE MOMENT that the great artist has always been an idealist-moralist whose works have exerted their sway over lesser men by the passion of his will to communicate belief would be to admit the bankruptcy of modern art.—Selden Rodman, poet.

RIDICULOUS, SAD, TERRIBLE. So abstract are all these works that they are beyond critical judgment.—Leonardo Borghese.

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