Top Abstract Art Quotes

Browse top 86 famous quotes and sayings about Abstract Art by most favorite authors.

Favorite Abstract Art Quotes

1. "Talk—half-talk, phrases that had no need to be finished, abstractions, Chinese bells played on with cotton-tipped sticks, mock orange blossoms painted on porcelain. The muffled, close, half-talk of soft-fleshed women. The men she had embraced, and the women, all washing against the resonance of my memory. Sound within sound, scene within scene, woman within woman—like acid revealing an invisible script. One woman within another eternally, in a far-reaching procession, shattering my mind into fragments, into quarter tones which no orchestral baton can ever make whole again."
Author: Anaïs Nin
2. "I think games are a good medium for approaching any subject, particularly difficult ones, because by their very nature, they are abstract, invite interaction and allow us to confront and question things... particularly rules that we may blindly follow."
Author: Brenda Brathwaite
3. "I admire the abstract expressionists and pop artists so right now I'm referencing American '60s art and at the same time referencing Japanese manga culture."
Author: Christian Marclay
4. "The world deprived of clear-cut outlines, of the up and the down, of good and evil, succumbs to a peculiar nihilization, that is, it loses its colors, so that grayness covers not only things of this earth and of space, but also the very flow of time, its minutes, days and years. Abstract considerations will be of little help, even if they are intended to bring relief. Poetry is quite different. By its very nature it says: All those theories are untrue. Since poetry deals with the singular, not hte general, it can't - if it is good poetry - look at things of this earth other than as colorful, variegated, and exciting, and so, it cannot reduce life, with all its pain, horror, suffering, and ecstasy, to a unified tonality of boredom or complaint. By necessity poetry is therefore on the side of being and against nothingness."
Author: Czeslaw Milosz
5. "What a powerful word, future. Of all the abstractions we can articulate to ourselves, of all the concepts we have that other animals do not, how extraordinary the ability to consider a time that's never been experienced. And how tragic not to consider it. It galls us, we with such a limited future, to see someone brush it aside as meaningless, when it has an endless capacity for meaning, and an endless number of meanings that can be found within it."
Author: David Levithan
6. "But nobody is visually naive any longer. We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine."
Author: Dominique De Menil
7. "And one of my firmest conclusions is that we always think by seeking and drawing parallels to things we know from our past, and that we therefore communicate best when we exploit examples, analogies, and metaphors galore, when we avoid abstract generalities, when we use very down-to-earth, concrete, and simple language, and when we talk directly about our own experience."
Author: Douglas Hofstadter
8. "These estimates may well be enhanced by one from F. Klein (1849-1925), the leading German mathematician of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 'Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of self-evident things.' ... If mathematics is indeed the science of self-evident things, mathematicians are a phenomenally stupid lot to waste the tons of good paper they do in proving the fact. Mathematics is abstract and it is hard, and any assertion that it is simple is true only in a severely technical sense—that of the modern postulational method which, as a matter of fact, was exploited by Euclid. The assumptions from which mathematics starts are simple; the rest is not."
Author: Eric Temple Bell
9. "We must not make exaggerated demand on critics, and particularly we must not expect that criticism can function as an exact science. Art is not scientific; why should criticism be?The main complaint against some critics--and a certain type of criticism--is that too seldom do they speak about cinema as such. The scenario of a film is the film; all films are not psychological.Every critic should take to heart Jean Renoir's remark, "All great art is abstract." He should learn to be aware of form, and to understand that certain artists, for example Dreyer or Von Sternberg, never sought to make a picture that resembled reality."
Author: François Truffaut
10. "There's an interesting contrast between born Catholics and converts. Converts are often much more rule-directed. Catholicism isn't something that they breathed in from their childhood, so they think that if you don't toe the line on abstract doctrine you can't be part of the Church."
Author: Garry Wills
11. "It is the universal nature of human Bildung to constitute itself as a universal intellectual being. Whoever abandons himself to his particularity is ungebildet ("unformed")—e.g., if someone gives way to blind anger without measure or sense of proportion. Hegel shows that basically such a man is lacking in the power of abstraction. He cannot turn his gaze from himself towards something universal, from which his own particular being is determined in measure and proportion."
Author: Hans Georg Gadamer
12. "I was born the 26th of December. . . Arrive by dint of perseverance, but step by step. . . Tenancy to exaggerate the importance of earthly life. Avaricious of self. Constant in their affections and their hatreds. . . Yes, the Capricorn is a beast of solitude. Slow, steady, and persevering. Lives on several levels at once. Thinks in circles. Fascinated by death. Ever climbing, climbing. In search of the edelweiss, presumably. Or could it be immortelle? Knows no mother. Only "the mothers". Laughs little and usually on the wrong side of the face. . . Speaks truthfully instead of kindly. Metaphysics, abstractions, electromagnetic displays. Dives to the depths. Sees stars, comets, and asteroids where others see only moles, warts, and pimples. Feeds on himself when tired of playing the man-eating shark. A paranoiac. An ambulatory paranoiac. But constant in his affections - and his hatreds. Ouais!"
Author: Henry Miller
13. "Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn, and take high abstracted man alone; and he seems a wonder, a grandeur, and a woe. But from that same point, take mankind in mass, and for the most part, they seem a mob of unnecessary duplicates, both contemporary and hereditary."
Author: Herman Melville
14. "Art was a union of the father and mother worlds, of mind and blood. It might start in utter sensuality and lead to total abstraction; then again it might originate in pure concept and end in bleeding flesh. Any work of art that was truly sublime, not just a good juggler's trick; that was filled with the eternal secret, like the master's madonna; every obviously genuine work of art had this dangerous, smiling double face, was male-female, a merging of instinct and pure spirituality."
Author: Hermann Hesse
15. "Logic might be imagined to exist independent of writing—syllogisms can be spoken as well as written—but it did not. Speech is too fleeting to allow for analysis. Logic descended from the written word, in Greece as well as India and China, where it developed independently. Logic turns the act of abstraction into a tool for determining what is true and what is false: truth can be discovered in words alone, apart from concrete experience. Logic takes its form in chains: sequences whose members connect one to another. Conclusions follow from premises. These require a degree of constancy. They have no power unless people can examine and evaluate them. In contrast, an oral narrative proceeds by accretion, the words passing by in a line of parade past the viewing stand, briefly present and then gone, interacting with one another via memory and association."
Author: James Gleick
16. "Thus, on the one hand, Spenser's thought is steeped in sensuous detail, so that for him there is no really abstract thinking; men, he thinks, 'should be satisfied with the use of these days, seeing all things accounted by their showes, and nothing esteemed of, that is not delightfull and pleasing to commune sense' ( Prefatory Letter). But on the other hand the details of the physical universe become translucent from the pulsing light of varied human experience which is seen behind it. His 'haunt and the main region of (his) song' is the inner life of man and it is described in the symbolism of human figures clothed in raiment iridescent with innumerable associations. His art is a development of the mediaeval."
Author: Janet Spens
17. "What I hope is I'll eventually be seen as an actual individual, not as some abstraction - an art dealer running a museum."
Author: Jeffrey Deitch
18. "El estudio de la economía no parece exigir ningún don especializado de un orden excepcionalmente superior. ¿No es una disciplina muy fácil comparada con las ramas superiores de la filosofía o la ciencia pura?. Una disciplina fácil de la que muy pocos sobresalen. La paradoja tal vez tenga su explicación en que el economista experto debe poseer una rara combinación de dones. Debe ser en cierta medida matemático, historiador, estadista, filosofo. Debe comprender los símbolos y hablar en palabras. Debe contemplar lo particular desde la óptica de lo general y considerar en un mismo razonamiento lo abstracto y lo concreto.Debe estudiar el presente pensando en el futuro. Ningún aspecto de la naturaleza del hombre o de sus instituciones debe quedarse al margen de su consideración. Debe ser simultáneamente decidido y desinteresado; tan distante e incorruptible como un artista y, sin embargo a veces tan cerca del suelo como un político"
Author: John Maynard Keynes
19. "With the manipulation of abstract symbols, an artist can send you information without sound, change your feelings and,sometimes, even beliefs. Artists convey the unspeakable. Artists inspire."
Author: Jonathan Culver
20. "First, it is a commitment to particularism, to giving priority to the specificity of particulars, not to abstractions and generalities that divert our attention away from concrete realities. Idealizations tend to be partial and distorting, obscuring the heterogeneity and complexity of actual experiences and concrete practices, which is why they do not provide an adequate standpoint for the diagnosis of social problems and injustices."
Author: José Medina
21. "So all that fame had lasted less than a hundred years! Les Orientales, Les Meditations, La Comedie Humaine - forgotten, lost, unknown! Yet here were huge crates of books which giant steam cranes were unloading in the courtyards, and buyers were crowding around the purchase desk. But one of them was asking for 'Stress Theory' in twenty volumes, another for an 'Abstract of Electric Problems', this one for 'A Practical Treatise for the Lubrication of Driveshafts', and that one for the latest 'Monograph on Cancer of the Brain'. 'How strange!' mused Michel. 'All of science and industry here, just as at school, nothing for art!' I must sound like a madman asking for literary works here - am I insane?"
Author: Jules Verne
22. "Love, I thought to myself abstractedly. Not 'This is love' or 'Is this love?' Not a sentence, not a certainty, not a thought with moving parts or direction. Just love, all of it, as it is. Whether it's enough or not. Wthether it's real or we're making it up. However shoddy it gets, or bent out of shape. It's still extraordinary. However foolish, however vain. However badly it ends. Love."
Author: Julian Gough
23. "No nude, however abstract, should fail to arouse in the spectator some vestige of erotic feeling, even if it be only the faintest shadow - and if it does not do so it is bad art and false morals."
Author: Kenneth Clark
24. "Unk, standing at a porthole, wept quietly. He was weeping for love, for family, for friendship, for truth, for civilization. The things he wept for were all abstractions, since his memory could furnish few faces or artifacts with which his imagination might fashion a passion play."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
25. "HELLO. Hello hello hello hello hello hello.Hello?Damn, now I've gone and done it. I've made hello go all abstract and weird. It looks like an alien rune now, something an astronaut would find engraved on a moon rock and go, A strange moon word! I must bring this back to Earth as a gift for my deaf son! And which would then--of course--hatch flying space piranhas and wipe out humanity in less than three days, SOMEHOW sparing the astronaut just so he could be in the final shot, weeping on his knees in the ruins of civilization and crying out to the heavens, It was just helloooooooo!Oh. Huh. It's totally back to normal now. No more alien doom. Astronaut, I just kept you from destroying Earth,YOU'RE WELCOME."
Author: Laini Taylor
26. "How can U say one style is better than another. You ought to be able to be an Abstract Expressionist next week, or a Pop artist, or a realist, without feeling you"ve given up something. ... I think that would be so great, to be able to change styles. And I think that's what's going to happen, that's going to be the whole new scene. - Andy Warhol, 1963"
Author: Legs McNeil
27. "And there was no longer a single race who bred blindly and without question. Time and its agonizing nostalgia would touch the heart each season, and be seen in the fall of a leaf, or, most terrible of all, a loved face would grow old. Cronos and the Fates had entered man's thinking, and try to escape as he might, he would endure an interior Ice Age. He would make, and then unmake fables. Then at last, and unwillingly, comprehend an intangible abstraction called space-time, and shiver inwardly at the endless abysses of space as he had once shivered, unclothed and unlighted before the Earthly frost."
Author: Loren Eiseley
28. "Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black."
Author: Martin Amis
29. "Neither agreeable nor disagreeable," I answered. "It just is."Istigkeit — wasn't that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? "Is-ness." The Being of Platonic philosophy — except that Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming and identifying it with the mathematical abstraction of the Idea. He could never, poor fellow, have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged; could never have perceived that what rose and iris and carnation so intensely signified was nothing more, and nothing less, than what they were — a transience that was yet eternal life, a perpetual perishing that was at the same time pure Being, a bundle of minute, unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, was to be seen the divine source of all existence."
Author: Meister Eckhart
30. "All art is abstract, because art is an abstraction of the truth."
Author: Milford Zornes
31. "She really was pretty, for a grown-up person, but when you are seven, beauty is an abstraction, not an imperative. I wonder what I would have done if she had smiled at me like that now: whether I would have handed my mind or my heart or my identify to her for the asking, as my father did."
Author: Neil Gaiman
32. "The woman who later became his wife was sleeping in his bed, her face buried in the pillows and her feet crossed on top of each other like a child's. He watched her sleep and struggled to see her as she was, but what he saw instead were her muscles and bones. He saw right through the skin to where her femur connected to her tibia by way of the ligaments, to the hair web of nerves and the delicate forest of her lungs, to the abstract heart pumping blood through her arteries. It terrified him how easily these systems could fail her."
Author: Nicole Krauss
33. "His (Lenin's)humanitarianism was a very abstract passion. It embraced humanity in general but he seems to have had little love for, or even interest in, humanity in particular. He saw the people with whom he dealt, his comrades, not as individuals but as receptacles for his ideas. On that basis, and no other, they were judged. He judged man not by their moral qualities but by their views, or rather the degree to which they accepted his."
Author: Paul Johnson
34. "The existential attitude is one of involvement in contrast to a merely theoretical or detached attitude. "Existential" in this sense can be defined as participating in a situation, especially a cognitive situation, with the whole of one's existence....There are realms of reality or—more exactly—of abstraction from reality in which the most complete detachment is the adequate cognitive approach. Everything which can be expressed in terms of quantitative measurement has this character. But it is most inadequate to apply the same approach to reality in its infinite concreteness. A self which has become a matter of calculation and management has ceased to be a self. It has become a thing. You must participate in a self in order to know what it is. But by participating you change it. In all existential knowledge both subject and object are transformed by the very act of knowing."
Author: Paul Tillich
35. "Soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers."
Author: Peter Matthiessen
36. "Basically, Sherri's idea had to do with bringing Fat's mind down from the cosmic and the abstract to the particular. She had hatched out the practical notion that nothing is more real than a large World War Two Soviet tank."
Author: Philip K. Dick
37. "History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody's own vacancy."
Author: Robert Smithson
38. "A little too abstract, a little too wise,It is time for us to kiss the earth again,It is time to let the leaves rain from the skies,Let the rich life run to the roots again."
Author: Robinson Jeffers
39. "I think we're much smarter than we were. Everybody knows that abstract art can be art, and most people know that they may not like it, even if they understand there's another purpose to it."
Author: Roy Lichtenstein
40. "In the end, therefore, money will be the one thing people will desire, which is moreover only representative, an abstraction. Nowadays a young man hardly envies anyone his gifts, his art, the love of a beautiful girl, or his fame; he only envies him his money. Give me money, he will say, and I am saved...He would die with nothing to reproach himself with, and under the impression that if only he had had the money he might really have lived and might even have achieved something great."
Author: Søren Kierkegaard
41. "I suppose I was aware, in an abstract way, that there were men and women upon this earth who served in this capacity, as chocolate engineers. In the same way that I was aware that there are job titles out there such as bacon taster and sex surrogate, which is to say, job titles that made me want to weep over my own appointed lot in life."
Author: Steve Almond
42. "She had the look of someone who'd declared herself, and seeing it, my indignation collapsed and her mutinous bath turned into something else entirely. She'd immersed herself in forbidden privileges, yes, but mostly in the belief she was worthy of those privileges. What she'd done was not a revolt, it was a baptism. I saw then what I hadn't seen before, that I was very good at despising slavery in the abstract, in the removed and anonymous masses, but in the concrete, intimate flesh of the girl beside me, I'd lost the ability to be repulsed by it. I'd grown comfortable with the particulars of evil. There's a frightful muteness that dwells at the center of all unspeakable things, and I had found my way into it. As Handful began to shove the vessel back across the piazza, I tried to speak. ". . . . . . Wait. . . . . . I'll. . . . . . help . . ." She turned and looked at me, and we both knew. My tongue would once again attempt its suicide."
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
43. "I saw then what I hadn't seen before, that I was very good at despising slavery in the abstract, in the removed and anonymous masses, but in the concrete, intimate flesh of the girl beside me, I'd lost the ability to be repulsed by it. I'd grown comfortable with the particulars of evil. There's a frightful muteness that dwells at the center of all unspeakable things, and I had found my way into it."
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
44. "Fairy tales were not my escape from reality as a child; rather, they were my reality -- for mine was a world in which good and evil were not abstract concepts, and like fairy-tale heroines, no magic would save me unless I had the wit and heart and courage to use it widely."
Author: Terri Windling
45. "To be loved to madness--such was her great desire. Love was to her the one cordial which could drive away the eating loneliness of her days. And she seemed to long for the abstraction called passionate love more than for any particular lover."
Author: Thomas Hardy
46. "Shit now is the color white folks are afraid of. Shit is the presence of death, not some abstract-arty character with a scythe but the stiff and rotting corpse inside the whiteman's warm and private own asshole, which is getting pretty intimate. That's what the toilet is for. You see many brown toilets? Nope, toilet's the color of gravestones, classical columns of mausoleums, that white emblems the very emblem of Odorless and Official death."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
47. "Talking about abstract things is important. Having big, wild conversations about concepts like art, music, time travel, and dreams makes it much easier when you'll eventually need to talk about things like anger, sadness, pain, and love."
Author: Tom Burns
48. "To diminish the worth of women, men had to diminish the worth of the moon. They had to drive a wedge between human beings and the trees and the beasts and the waters, because trees and beasts and waters are as loyal to the moon as to the sun. They had to drive a wedge between thought and feeling...At first they used Apollo as the wedge, and the abstract logic of Apollo made a mighty wedge, indeed, but Apollo the artist maintained a love for women, not the open, unrestrained lust that Pan has, but a controlled longing that undermined the patriarchal ambition. When Christ came along, Christ, who slept with no female...Christ, who played no musical instrument, recited no poetry, and never kicked up his heels by moonlight, this Christ was the perfect wedge. Christianity is merely a system for turning priestesses into handmaidens, queens into concubines, and goddesses into muses."
Author: Tom Robbins
49. "Once the creator was removed from the creation, divinity became only a remote abstraction, a social weapon in the hands of the religious institutions. This split in public values produced or was accompanied by, as it was bound to be, an equally artificial and ugly division in people's lives, so that a man, while pursuing Heaven with the sublime appetite he thought of as his soul, could turn his heart against his neighbors and his hands against the world...Though Heaven is certainly more important than the earth if all they say about it is true, it is still morally incidental to it and dependent on it, and I can only imagine it and desire it in terms of what I know of the earth. (pg. 23, "A Native Hill")"
Author: Wendell Berry
50. "I like connecting the abstract to the concrete. There's a tension in that. I believe the reader or listener should be able to enter the poem as a participant. So I try to get past resolving poems."
Author: Yusef Komunyakaa

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Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement."
Author: Charles M. Schulz

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