Art Essays: The content of two  blogs comes together in this Art History blog — covering topics from prehistoric art to contemporary art, from various perspectives. The blog promotes art and includes exhibition reviews, but is not intended for commercial purposes.  Architecture, sculpture, painting, drawing, prints, glass and ceramics are included. 


What is Art?

 “Humans have wanted a unifying vision by which to see the chaos of our world. Artists fulfill that role.”
~Hiroshi Sugimoto, artist

“The language of vision determines, perhaps even more subtly and thoroughly than verbal language, the structure of our consciousness.”
~ S.I. Hayakawa (philosopher)

“ The essence of art is the spark of insight and thrill of discovery—first by the maker, then built into it, then experienced by the viewer.”
~ Duane Preble (textbook author)

Artists explain indirectly:

No block of marble but it does not hide
The concept living in the artist’s mind—
Pursuing it inside the form, he’ll guide
His hand to shape what reason has defined.
~ Michelangelo

“I dream of an art that would console the mind and sustain the spirit as a good armchair relieves physical tension.”
~ Henri Matisse

“Nature contains the elements, in color and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick, and choose, and group with science, these elements, that result may be beautiful—as the musician gathers his notes and forms his chords, until he brings forth from chaos glorious harmonies.”
~ James McNeill Whistler

“Art is the lie that tells the truth.”
~ Pablo Picasso

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
~ Edgar Degas

“Art is that which brings men closest to the angels”
~ Moss Hart, author

How to Experience art:
“The best art can cut through our tendency to experience life with prejudgment. Such art sharpens our perceptions of life by recreating human experience in fresh forms, bringing a new sense of significance and connectedness of life.”
~ Duane Preble (textbook author)

“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator bring the work in contact to the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualification and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
~ Marcel Duchamp

Modern Art
“Modern art comes from within. It’s not necessary to use sources outside of oneself.” “Modern art, to me, is nothing more than the contemporary aims of the age we’re living in.” “Modern European painters think all art derives from the subconscious.”
~ Jackson Pollock
“Contemporary and ancient art are like oil and water, seemingly opposite poles. Yet for the longest time now I have found the two melding ineffably into one, more like water and air.”
~ Hiroshi Sugimoto