Some Quotes About Abstract Art

Following are a few quotes about abstract art with an occasional added commentary. If you are an abstract artist or a collector of abstract art and are sensitive about such things, I recommend that you avoid reading Al Capp's comment on abstract art.

Joseph Albers
Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.
Al Capp
[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered. (Probably the most famous quote about abstract art)
Lucian Freud
The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.
David Hockney
All painting, no matter what you're painting, is abstract in that it's got to be organized.(Is Hockney twisting the definition of abstract art in order to defend it?)
Wasilly Kandinsky
Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with 'reality,' next to the 'real' world.
Wasilly Kandinsky
Abstract painting leaves behind the "skin" of nature, but not its laws. Let me use the "big words" cosmic laws. Art can only be great if it relates directly to cosmic laws and is subordinated to them.
Paul Klee
The more horrifing the world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
Ben Laposky
My work in computer art is a form of oscillography, the results of which I have called 'Oscillons' or 'Electronic Abstractions.'... The oscillons have been recognized as being the first major development in this field as abstract art creations, and the first to be widely exhibited and published in America and abroad.
Roy Lichtenstein
Paintings are Rorschach ink blots. They are what you want themto be.
Kasimir Malevich
Only when the habit of one's consciousness to see in paintings bits of nature,madonnas and shameless nudes has disappeared, shall we see a pure-painting composition.
Dave McKean
I've lost the will to paint literally. I don't see the point in worrying away with a paintbrush trying to reproduce a literal photographic texture like cloth or skin. Paint is best at being paint. Paint can never be as perfect as nature when it is trying to imitate nature. It's a lost cause. Paint can only be as beautiful as nature when it is nature, when it is it's own texture. Marks on paper have their own beauty, and it is this slipping from the literal world into the world of abstract qualities that I try to achieve in my work. If I need a shirt to look like a shirt I'll scan it into my computer. If I want a shirt to feel like the wind, or like a constricting skin, or angry, or like a consoling embrace, then maybe it should be painted or drawn.
Manfred Mohr
My artistic goal is reached when a finished work can visually dissociate itself from its logical content and convincingly stand as an independent abstract entity.
Manfred Mohr
I write computer algorithms, i.e. rules that calculate and then generate a work that could not be realized in any other way. It is not necessarily the system or the logic I want to present in my work, but the visual invention that results from it. My artistic goal is reached when a finished work can visually dissociate itself from its logical content and convincingly stand as an independent abstract entity.
Robert Motherwell
One of themost striking of abstract art's appearance is her nakedness, an art stripped bare.
Pablo Picasso
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
John Piper
The test of an abstract picture, for me, is not my first reaction to it, but how long I can stand it hanging on the wall of a roomwhere I am living.
Jim Plaxco
The wonderful thing about abstract art is that it can be anything you want it to be. You can take a thing and make it into something that is visually completely different.
Frank Stella
Kandinsky was right to appreciate Cezanne. The emergence of triangularity in the ‘Large Bathers’ was an unconscious step in the right direction, a step about to break through the crust of the future’s pictorial surface. However, agile and muscular as it may have been, Cezanne's triangle could not shake the pyramid anchoring Raphael’s composition. The dogged perseverance of this pyramid illuminates the mystical dead weight which Kandinsky and all abstract painting following him have always had difficulty accounting for, and which in the end we, if not they, cannot live without.
Alfred North Whitehead
Mathematics is thought moving in the sphere of complete abstraction fromany particular instance of what it is talking about. (Not a quote about abstract art but relevant to those of us who are algorists - the creators of algorithmic art)

For other quotation collections see:

Fine Art QuotesA Collection of fine art quotations
Computer Art QuotesA collection of quotations about computer art
Space/Astronomical Art QuotesQuotations about space art and astronomical art