Landscape is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to the American novel.

— Robert Hughes

The most simplistic Robert Hughes quotes that are little-known but priceless

A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.

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Perhaps the rhinos and she-crocodiles whose gyrations between Mortimer's and East Hampton gives us our vision of social eminence today are content to entrust their faces to Andy Warhol's mingily cosmetic Polaroidising, but one would bet they would rather go to Sargent.

18

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt.

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We have entered a period of intolerance which combines, as it sometimes does in America, with a sugary taste for euphemism. This conjunction fosters events that go beyond the wildest dream of satire- if satire existed in America anymore; perhaps the reason for its weakness is that reality has superseded it.

13

On the whole, money does artists much more good than harm.

The idea that one benefits from cold water, crusts and debt collectors is now almost extinct, like belief in the reformatory power of flogging.

12

One gets tired of the role critics are supposed to have in this culture: It's like being the piano player in a whorehouse; you don't have any control over the action going on upstairs.

6

A Gustave Courbet portrait of a trout has more death in it than Rubens could get in a whole Crucifixion.

6

At 40 years of age, I thought I knew everything.

I got a reality check with this class. Kenny (Winston) has become like a big brother to me. We've learned to agree to disagree. I hope and pray that this program continues and we all keep in touch. I'm a st

5

Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.Why wait for a call when you have a command?

5

Popular in our time, unpopular in his. So runs the stereotype of rejected genius.

5

Indeed, the idea that doubt can be heroic, if it is locked into a structure as grand as that of the paintings of Cezanne's old age, is one of the keys to our century. A touchstone of modernity itself.

4

There is virtue in virtuosity, especially today, when it protects us from the tedious spectacle of ineptitude.

4

About Robert Hughes

Quotes 61 sayings
Nationality Australian
Profession Critic
Birthday October 16

In art there is no progress, only fluctuations of intensity.

3

The new job of art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive.

3

The hallmark of the minor artist is to be obsessed with style as an end in itself.

3

We have entered a period of intolerance which combines, as it sometimes does in America, with a sugary taste for euphemism.

3

What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants.

3

Drawing never dies, it holds on by the skin of its teeth, because the hunger it satisfies – the desire for an active, investigative, manually vivid relation with the things we see and yearn to know about – is apparently immortal.

3

There's no geist like the Zeitgeist.

3

Why wait for a call when you have a command?

3

An ideal museum show would be a mating of Brideshead Revisited with House & Garden, provoking intense and pleasurable nostalgia for a past that none of its audience has had.

3

Modernism is the protein of our cultural imagination.

2

We want to create a sort of linguistic Lourdes, where evil and misfortune are dispelled by a dip in the waters of euphemism

2

What does one prefer? An art that struggles to change the social contract, but fails? Or one that seeks to please and amuse, and succeeds?

2

In the Somme valley, the back of language broke.

It could no longer carry its former meanings. World War I changed the life of words and images in art, radically and forever. It brought our culture into the age of mass-produced, industrialized death. This, at first, was indescribable.

2

We've got a recipe for disaster. It's huge -- this combination of body image issues and the drug's weight loss appeal.

2

Essentially, perspective is a form of abstraction.

It simplifies the relationship between eye, brain and object. It is an ideal view, imagined as being seen by a one-eyed, motionless person who is clearly detached from what he sees. It makes a God of the spectator, who becomes the person on whom the whole world converges, the Unmoved Onlooker.

1

It was the basilica of gossip, the Vatican of inside dope.

1

It was a secular cathedral, dedicated to the rites of travel.

1

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt.

Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.

1

It was van Gogh's madness that prevented him from working;

the paintings themselves are ineffably sane, if sanity is to be defined in terms of exact judgment of ends and means and the power of visual analysis.

0

What strip mining is to nature the art market has become to culture.

0

Art grows out of modes of perception that make you feel and think.

..that hooks on to something deep-running in our natures.

0

But the existence of a cult does not mean that images appropriate to it automatically follow.

0

I have never been against new art as such;

some of it is good, much is crap, most is somewhere in between.

0

Fishing largely consists of not catching fish;

failure is as much a part of the sport as knee injuries are of football.

0

Political stress is always apt to shrink the private arena and attach it on to the public

0

It is an oldish question, but not perhaps a very interesting one, whether cooking is an art or not.

0

Transportation made sublimation literal. It conveyed evil to another world.

0

Far from affording artists continuous inspiration, mass-media sources for art have become a dead end. They have combined with the abstractness of institutional art teaching to produce a fine-arts culture given over to information and not experience. This faithfully echoes the drain of concreteness from modern existence- the reign of mere unassimilated data instead of events that gain meaning by being absorbed into the fabric of imaginative life.

0

Confidence is the prize given to the mediocre

0

Everything that would be said against the Eixample's heirs, from Le Corbusier's 'ville radieuse' to Oscar Niemeyer's Brasilia, was already said, with far less justice, about the Eixample itself. And all its critics concurred that the basic mistake was to have left the planning of a city in the hands of a socialist.

0

Nothing they design ever gets in the way of a work of art.

0

It is the nature of carnivores to get power and then, having disposed of their enemies, to deploy the emollient powers of Great Art to make themselves look like herbivores.

0

The point of a library's existence is not persuasion or evangelism, but knowledge. It is irrelevant to the good library whether, as an institution, it shares or promotes your core values or mine, or the Attorney General's or Saddam Hussein's. The library is always an instrument of choice, and the choice is always yours, not your elected or designated leaders.

0

Why should we expect modernist taste to be any smarter than premodernist or postmodernist?

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One thing is sure: the Sagrada Familia is the first Catholic temple whose bacon was ever saved by Shinto tourism. Not even Gaudi, who believed in miracles, could have forseen that.

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The World's Fair audience tended to think of the machine as unqualifiedly good, strong, stupid and obedient. They thought of it as a giant slave, an untiring steel Negro, controlled by Reason in a world of infinite resources.

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In America, nostalgia for things is apt to set in before they go.

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