Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.— Jackson Pollock
Authentic Abstract Expressionism quotations
Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was.
I was a student at Harvard, and that's where I learned about so-called avant-garde music. Jackson Pollock, abstract expressionism and painting were well known at this time.
I think more than writers, the major influences on me have been European movies, jazz, and Abstract Expressionism.
The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.
Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you.
Abstract Expressionism - the first American movement to have a worldwide influence - was remarkably short-lived: It heated up after World War II and was all but done for by 1960 (although visit any art school today and you'll find a would-be Willem de Kooning).
The big shock of my life was Abstract Expressionism - Pollock, de Kooning, those guys. It changed my work. I was an academically trained student, and suddenly you could pour paint, smear it on, broom it on!
I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc.
, because the painting has a life of its own.
But no one, when you stop to think, has ever equated abstract expressionism as a movement with jazz music. It's based on improvisation. The rhythms, the personal involvement, all of this is part of the jazz experience.
The painting has a life of its own
The modern artist... is working and expressing an inner world - in other words - expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.
There was something about the self-confession and self-confusion of Abstract expressionism - as though the man and the work were the same - that personally always put me off because at that time my focus was in the opposite direction.
When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing.
When I'm painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing.
It's only after a get acquainted period that I see what I've been about. I've no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.
I'm very representational some of the time, and a little all of the time.
But when you're painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge.
Abstract expressionism was the first American art that was filled with anger as well as beauty.
Abstract Expressionism was invented by New York drunks.
The abstract has no emotional content... the abstract is more powerful the more abstract it is.
Every art critic and every writer doesn't have a frame to start off from.
If I made a statement saying, "This is Abstract Expressionism," they could go, "Well, he failed miserably," or, "Fantastic, this is a new genius!" But in art history, I don't see any of the artists I like spewing bullshit. I don't see anyone recording it or pronouncing what they were doing.
Food became, for dinner parties in the sixties, what abstract expressionism had been in the fifties.
I don't use the accident - 'cause I deny the accident
We live in an age when the traditional great subjects - the human form, the landscape, even newer traditions such as abstract expressionism - are daily devalued by commercial art.
I would be constantly brought up on the carpet by these teachers who were brought up with Abstract Expressionism, saying, "You're too uptight, you're not expressing yourself, why don't you feel freer?" I said, "Well, I don't like that stuff. It means nothing to me."
I went to the Mary Lee Burbank School in Belmont.
And it was a place where you, like, learned to go to the store? And I was saying, Oh God, I want to learn something else. I wanted to learn to read and write better and do mathematics better. They were very much into Abstract Expressionism and that artsy stuff. And where most kids did what I call meaningless blobs, I could render perfectly.
You have to act and this is something that happened in abstract expressionism too, it was a discovery particularly in De Kooning's paintings, great paintings. There's a lot of speed in his work and the speed produces things that only speed can produce.
I wanted to be a painter, somewhere between Abstract Expressionism and Pop.