Sunday, May 20, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Willem de Kooning

« All quotes from this author

But one day, some painter used 'Abstraction' as a title for one of his paintings. It was a still life. And it was a very tricky title. And it wasn’t really a very good one. From then on the idea became something extra. Immediately it gave some people the idea that they could free art from itself. Until then, Art meant everything that was in it – not what you could take off it. There was only one thing you could take out of it sometime when you were in the right mood – that abstract and indefinable sensation, the aesthetic part – and still leave it were it was...
De Koonings speech on the symposium, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 5 February, 1951

Willem de Kooning

» Willem de Kooning - all quotes »

Tags: Willem de Kooning Quotes, Authors starting by K

Similar quotes


As you can see this is a composition of vertical and horizontal lines which will (in an abstract manner) have to express the idea of rising upwards, of magnitude. This is the same idea which used, for example, to be the guiding principle in the construction of cathedrals. Since only the manner of expression and not the representation has to express this general idea, I have not given any title. An abstract human mind will, of itself, receive the intended impression. I always confine myself to expressing the general.

Piet Mondrian

You have a valuable house or farm. It is suggested that the title is not good. You employ counsel. You have the deeds examined. You search the records for mortgages, judgments and liens. You are not satisfied until you have a certificate, signed by the great seal of the State, assuring you that the title is good. Yet how many leave their title to heaven an undecided matter! Why do you not go to the records and find it? Give yourself no rest day or night until you can read your title clear to mansions in the skies."

Thomas De Witt Talmage

I think the circle is very abstract. I could make up stories of what the circle means to men, but I don't know if it is that conscious. I think it was a form, a vehicle. I don't think I had a sexual anthropomorphic, or geometric meaning. It wasn't a breast and it wasn't a circle representing life and eternity....I remember always working with contradiction and contradictory forms which is my idea also in life. The whole absurdity of life, everything for me has always been opposite. Nothing has ever been in the middle. When I gave you my autobiography, my life never had anything normal or in the center. It was always extremes.

Eva Hesse

If the sensation that precedes the present by half a second were still immediately before me, then on the same principle, the sensation preceding that would be immediately present, and so on ad infinitum. Now, since there is a time [period], say a year, at the end of which an idea is no longer ipso facto present, it follows that this is true of any finite interval, however short.

Charles Sanders Peirce

If you want a title, what's wrong with Mr? If you have always been that, then why lose your title?
I have a title, which is the same one that I have always had.
But it's not political. I have a CBE, which I accepted very gratefully.

Paul Scofield
© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact