The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.

— Willem de Kooning

The most mouth-watering Willem de Kooning quotes that are glad to read

The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.

70

Every so often, a painter has to destroy painting.

Cezanne did it, Picasso did it with Cubism. Then Pollock did it. He busted our idea of a picture all to hell. Then there could be new paintings again.

54

I paint the way I do because I can keep on putting more and more things in - like drama, pain, anger, love, a figure, a horse, my ideas of space. It doesn't matter if it differs from mine, as long as it comes from the painting, which has its own integrity and intensity.

53

I'm not interested in 'abstracting' or taking things out or reducing painting to design, form, line, and color. I paint this way because I can keep putting more things in it - drama, anger, pain, love, a figure, a horse, my ideas about space. Through your eyes it again becomes an emotion or idea.

49

I don't paint to live, I live to paint.

48

The drawings that interest me most are made with closed eyes.

With eyes closed, I feel my hand slide down on the paper. I have an image in mind, but the results always surprise me.

41

Whatever an artist's personal feelings are, as soon as an artist fills a certain area on the canvas or circumscribes it, he becomes historical. He acts from or upon other artists.

40

Style is a fraud. I always felt the Greeks were hiding behind their columns.

30

An artist is forced by others to paint out of his own free will.

25

Even abstract shapes must have a likeness

22

In art one idea is as good as another.

20

Maybe in that earlier phase I was painting the woman in me.

Art isn't a wholly masculine occupation, you know.

16

About Willem de Kooning

Quotes 53 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Artist
Birthday October 16

The texture of experience is prior to everything else.

14

In art, one idea is as good as another.

If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble.

13

I think I'm painting a picture of two women but it may turn out to be a landscape.

13

The idea of space is given to the artist to change if he can.

The subject matter in the abstract is space.

13

The point they (Lissitzky, Rodchenko, Tatlin, Gabo, the neo-Plasticists, and so on) all had in common was to be inside and outside at the same time. For me, to be inside and outside is to be in an unheated studio with broken windows in the winter, or taking a nap on somebody's porch in the summer.

10

Content is a glimpse of something, an encounter like a flash. It's very tiny - very tiny. Content.

7

Content is a glimpse.

5

My interest in desperation lies only in that sometimes I find myself having become desperate. Very seldom do I start out that way. I can see of course that, in the abstract, thinking and all activity is rather desperate.

5

I feel sometimes an American artist must feel, like a baseball player or something - a member of a team writing American history.

4

If I stretch my arms and wonder where my fingers are - that is all the space I need as a painter.

4

Man's own form in space - his body - was a private prison;

and that it was because of this imprisoning misery - because he was hungry and overworked and went to a horrid place called home late at night in the rain, and his bones ached and his head was heavy.

3

I see the canvas and I begin... It's a necessary evil to get into the work, and it's pretty marvelous to be able to get out of it.

3

Flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented

3

If you pick up some paint with your brush and make somebody's nose with it, this is rather ridiculous when you think of it, theoretically or philosophically. It's really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint, today.

3

Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure.

I always seem to be wrapped in the melodrama of vulgarity. I do not think... of art as a situation of comfort.

2

Watercolors is the first and the last thing an artist does.

2

Even an abstract form has to have a likeness.

1

Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure.

1

I read somewhere that Rubens said students should not draw from life, but draw from all the great classic casts. Then you really get the measure of them, you really know what to do. And then, put in your own dimples. Isn't that marvelous!

0

Not even for a million dollars would I paint a tree.

0

When, about fifteen years ago, I walked into Arshile's studio for the first time, the atmosphere was so beautiful that I got a little dizzy and when I came to, I was bright enough to take the hint immediately. If the bookkeepers think it necessary to make sure of where things and people came from, well then, I came from 36 Union Square. I am glad that it is about impossible to get away from his powerful influence.

0

I make pictures and someone comes in and calls it art.

0

The past does not influence me; I influence it.

0

It's really absurd to make... a human image, with paint, today, when you think about it... But then all of a sudden, it was even more absurd not to do it.

0

The 'Women' had to do with the female painted through all ages, all those idols, and maybe I was stuck to a certain extent; I couldn't go on. It did one thing for me: it eliminated composition, arrangement, relationships, light - all this silly talk about line, colour and form - because that was the thing I wanted to get hold of.

0

Art should not have to be a certain way.

0

You have to keep on the very edge of something, all the time, or the picture dies.

0

I have to change to stay the same.

0

I might work on a painting for a month, but it has too look like I painted it in a minute.

0

Spiritually I am wherever my spirit allows me to be, and that is not necessarily in the future... Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure.

0

Im not someone whos ever said anything definitive about his work.

In my life also I have very little fixed form. I can change overnight.

0

If you're an artist, the problem is to make a picture work whether you are happy or not.

0

I'd like to get all the colors in the world into one painting

0

And then there is that one-man movement, Marcel Duchamp for me a truly modern movement because it implies that each artist can do what he thinks he ought to a movement for each person and open for everybody.

0

The problem with property is that it takes so much of your time.

0

An artist is someone who makes art... He didn't invent it.

0

The word 'abstract' comes from the light tower of the philosophers.

One of their spotlights that they have particularly focused on 'Art'. [Abstraction was] not so much what you could paint but rather what you could not paint. You could not paint a house or a tree or a mountain. It was then that subject matter came into existence as something you ought not have.

0
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