At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act-rather than as a space in which to reproduce, re-design, analyze or express an object, actual or imagined. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.— Harold Rosenberg
The most powerful Harold Rosenberg quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
American time has stretched around the world.
It has become the dominant tempo of modern history, especially of the history of Europe.
Only conservatives believe that subversion is still being carried on in the arts and that society is being shaken by it. Advanced art today is no longer a cause --it contains no moral imperative. There is no virtue in clinging to principles and standards, no vice in selling or in selling out.
The purpose of education is to keep a culture from being drowned in senseless repetitions, each of which claims to offer a new insight.
An artist is a person who has invented an artist.
Only conservatives believe that subversion is still being carried on in the arts and that society is being shaken by it.
The aim of every authentic artist is not to conform to the history of art, but to release himself from it in order to replace it with his own history.
Form, color, composition, drawing, are auxiliaries, any one of which... can be dispensed with.
The values to which the conservative appeals are inevitably caricatured by the individuals designated to put them into practice.
What better way to prove that you understand a subject than to make money out of it?
Art has arrived at the paradox that tradition itself requires the occurrence of radical attacks on tradition.
Whoever undertakes to create soon finds himself engaged in creating himself. Self-transformation and the transformation of others have constituted the radical interest of our century, whether in painting, psychiatry, or political action.
America is the civilization of people engaged in transforming themselves.
In the past, the stars of the performance were the pioneer and the immigrant. Today, it is youth and the Black.
Co-operating critics comb the studios like big-league scouts, prepared to spot the art of the future and to take lead in establishing reputations. Art historians stand by ready with cameras and notebooks to make sure every novel detail is safe for the record. The tradition of the new has reduced all other traditions to triviality.
The new painting has broken down every distinction between art and life.
The current demoralization of the art world is attributable at least in part to museum interference, ideological and practical, with ongoing creation in art.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
A painting that is an act is inseparable from the biography of the artist.
No dealer, curator, buyer or critic, or any existing combination of these, can be depended on to produce a reputation that is more than a momentary flurry.
It is not logical for art to be logical.
Art goes against the grain of the times as readily as it goes with it and at the very same moment. Instead of seeking the nearest exit, art responds to a new situation by uncovering a labyrinth of problems.
A painter with prestige among painters is bound to be discovered sooner or later.
Kitsch is the daily art of our time, as the vase or the hymn was for earlier generations. For the sensibility it has that arbitrariness and importance which works take on when they are no longer noticeable elements of the environment. In America kitsch is Nature. The Rocky Mountains have resembled fake art for a century.
The story of Americans is the story of arrested metamorphoses.
Those who achieve success come to a halt and accept themselves as they are. Those who fail become resigned and accept themselves as they are.
In reality, however, an artist is a product of art
Abstract art as it is conceived at present is a game bequeathed to painting and sculpture by art history. One who accepts its premises must consent to limit his imagination to a depressing casuistry regarding the formal requirements of modernism.
If being an anti-art artist is difficult, being an anti-art art historian is a hard position indeed. His doctrinal revolutionism brings forth nothing new in art but reenacts upheavals on the symbolic plane of language. It provides the consoling belief that overthrows are occurring as in the past, that barriers to creation are being surmounted, and that art is pursuing a radical purpose, even if it is only the purpose of doing away with itself.
The artist is obliged to invent the self who will paint his pictures.
The internationalization of art becomes a factor contributing to the estrangement of art from the artist. The sum of works of all times and places stands against him as an entity with objectives and values of its own. In turn, since becoming aware of the organized body of artworks as the obstacle to his own aesthetic self-affirmation, the artist is pushed toward anti-intellectualism and willful dismissal of the art of the past.
The skills of the modern artist are the opposite of those of the craftsman: instead of acquiring techniques for producing classes of objects, the artist today perfects the means suited to his particular work.
Kitsch is art that follows established rules in a time when all rules in art are put into question by each artist.
The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous. Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed. Art kills only the dead.
Avant-gardism is an addiction that can be appeased only by a revolution in permanence.
The big moment came when it was decided to paint.
..Just To Paint. The gesture on the canvas was a gesture of liberation, from Value- political, aesthetic, moral.
Politics in the United States consists of the struggle between those whose change has been arrested by success or failure, on one side, and those who are still engaged in changing themselves, on the other. Agitators of arrested metamorphosis versus agitators of continued metamorphosis. The former have the advantage of numbers (since most people accept themselves as successes or failures quite early), the latter of vitality and visibility (since self-transformation, though it begins from within, with ideology, religion, drugs, tends to express itself publicly through costume and jargon).
In the United States, revolts tends to be directed against specific situations, rarely against the social structure as a whole.
Whoever undertakes to create soon finds himself engaged in creating himself.
The struggle to make an absolute statement in an individually conceived vocabulary accounts for the profound tensions inherent in the best modern work.
One of the grotesqueries of present-day American life is the amount of reasoning that goes into displaying the wisdom secreted in bad movies while proving that modern art is meaningless. They have put into practice the notion that a bad art work cleverly interpreted according to some obscure Method is more rewarding than a masterpiece wrapped in silence.
Not only were the minds of artists formed by the university;
in the same mold were formed those of the art historians, the critics, the curators, and the collectors by whom their work was evaluated. With the rise of Conceptual art, the classroom announced its final triumph over the studio.
Both art and the artist lack identity and define themselves only through their encounter with each other.
The artist does not exist except as a personification, a figure of speech that represents the sum total of art itself. It is painting that is the genius of the painter, poetry of the poet, and a person is a creative artist to the extent that he participates in that genius.
Abandoned by philosophy, politics, and sociology, historical determinism continues to hold out in formalist art criticism.
Greatness in art is always a by-product.
How much the work of an artist owes to an art movement to which he belongs can never be determined exactly, if only because the movement derives its character from the individual creations of its members.
Today, each artist must undertake to invent himself, a lifelong act of creation that constitutes the essential content of the artist's work.
Only through apprehending, by means of present-day creations, how art is created, can the creations of other periods be genuinely appreciated.
For the artist, fulfillment of self consists not in marching in the ranks of the liberators but in being entered in the roll of the Masters. The artist tends to find himself in the position of a deserter from his social group or, at best, one who collaborates, with secret reservations.
Loiter in the neighborhood of a problem. After a while a solution strolls by.
Imitation of the art of earlier centuries, as that done by Picasso and Modigliani , is carried on not to perpetuate ancient values but to demonstrate that new aesthetic orders now prevail.