Art Lesson October 31, 2018 – Posted in: Uncategorised

The website mental floss recently wrote a great article about the answer to the question “What is art?” given by famous politicians, philosophers, authors and more. And the responses varied a great deal. The truth is art is anything you make it. It is all this and more. Follow me blow for a quick art lesson.

Art is…
…according to a dictionary:
1. [from the 1300s] Skill; its display, application, or expression… [from the 1600s] The expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing, or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

— Oxford English Dictionary Online

…imitation or creation?

– Plato, (429–347 B.C.E.) Athenian philosopher, The Republic, Book X, translated by Benjamin Jowett

2. Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding.

– Marc Chagall (1887–1985) Russian-French artist, remark, 1977

3. The imitator is a poor kind of creature. If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer.

– James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), American-born, British-based artist, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890)

4. The craftsman knows what he wants to make before he makes it.…The making of a work of art…is a strange and risky business in which the maker never knows quite what he is making until he makes it.

– R.G. Collingwood (1889–1943), English philosopher, The Principles of Art (1938)

5. Filling a space in a beautiful way. That’s what art means to me.

– Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), American painter, in Art News December 1977

What is art?

6. Art is harmony.

– Georges Seurat (1859–1891), French painter, letter to Maurice Beaubourg (1890)

Art is something that reveals the essential or hidden truth
7. To me the thing that art does for life is to clean it – to strip it to form.

– Robert Frost (1874–1963), American poet, in Fire and Ice: The Art and Thoughts of Robert Frost, by Lawrence Thompson (1942)

8. We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.

– Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), a Spanish painter living in France, quoted in Dore Ashton’s Picasso on Art (1972)

9. What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.

– Henri Matisse (1869–1954), French artist, Notes of a Painter (1908)

10. What is art? Art grows out of grief and joy, but mainly grief. It is born of people’s lives.

– Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Norwegian artist, in Edvard Munch: The Man and His Art, by Ragna Stang (1977)

11. Art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.

– David Hockney (1937–) British artist, to The Guardian on October 26, 1988

12. Art is a habit-forming drug.

– Marcel Duchamp, (1887–1968), French-born American artist, quoted in Richter, Dada: art and anti-art (1964)

13. Art is a revolt, a protest against extinction.

– André Malraux (1901–1976), French novelist, essayist, and art critic, Les Voix du silence (1951)
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