quote by Joan Mitchell

Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make a surface work. This is just a use of space and form: it's an ambivalence of forms and space.

— Joan Mitchell

Controversy Ambivalence quotations

It seems we are capable of immense love and loyalty, and as capable of deceit and atrocity. It's probably this shocking ambivalence that makes us unique.

Ambivalence is a wonderful tune to dance to. It has a rhythm all its own.

Horizontality is a desire to give up, to sleep.

Verticality is an attempt to escape. Hanging and floating are states of ambivalence.

The ambivalence of writing is such that it can be considered both an act and an interpretive process that follows after an act with which it cannot coincide. As such, it both affirms and denies its own nature.


The bond between a man and his profession is similar to that which ties him to his country; it is just as complex, often ambivalent, and in general it is understood completely only when it is broken: by exile or emigration in the case of one's country, by retirement in the case of a trade or profession.

I've always been fascinated by the operation of memory - the way in which it is not linear but fragmented, and its ambivalence.

Whatever ambivalence I felt about my own career, Frankie more than made up for it with his ambition and tenacity.

It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness

Man-hating is everywhere, but everywhere it is twisted and transformed, disguised, tranquilized, and qualified. It coexists, never peacefully, with the love, desire, respect, and need women also feel for men. Always man-hating is shadowed by its milder, more diplomatic and doubtful twin, ambivalence.


Fiction just has a lot more room for ambivalence and internal conflict, contradiction, and for me that sums up so much of what people felt after 9/11 - confusion even. And I think that's hard to capture in journalism.

Let us consider the polarity of love and hate.

... Now, clinical observation shows not only that love is with unexpected regularityaccompanied by hate (ambivalence), and not only that in human relationships hate is frequently a forerunner of love, but also that in many circumstances hate changes into love and love into hate.

For the only therapy is life. The patient must learn to live, to live with his split, his conflict, his ambivalence, which no therapy can take away, for if it could, it would take with it the actual spring of life.

I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.

It is only when parental feelings are ineffective or too ambivalent or when the mother's emotions are temporarily engaged elsewhere that children feel lost.


I always seem to be cast as slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers. But I'm here to tell you I'm quite the opposite in real life. In fact I'm a f**king fantastic lover.

No matter where you are in your life, whatever set of people you're with, it all still breaks down like high school does. You have your social cliques, you have the people you get along with, the people you don't and the people you're ambivalent about. All of the dynamics are still here.

...all along I've had an ambivalent relationship to photography - but as to whether I thought it an art form, or a craft, or a technique, well, I've always been taken with Henry Geldzahler's answer to that question when he said, I thought it was a hobby.

My experience is that lots of people go to church, sing the songs, tell the story, etc but have profound ambivalence about God.

We don't do ambivalence well in America.

We do courage of our convictions. We do might makes right. Ambivalence is French. Certainty is American.


More than its utilitarian and technocratic transparency, it is the opaque ambivalence of its oddities that makes the city livable.

Today, much of journalism and politics are in a kind of collusion to oversimplify and personalize issues. No room for ambivalence. Plenty of room for the personal attack.

Beneath the surface of our daily life, in the personal history of many of us, there runs a continuous controversy between an Ego that affirms and an Ego that denies.

And if sun comes / How shall we greet him? / Shall we not dread him, / Shall we not fear him / After so lengthy a / Session with shade?

I focus on the task and try and do it as best we can.

And we're constantly evolving it, because it's my way of trying to make sense of all these ambivalent feelings I have.


Ambivalence is like carbon monoxide - undetectable yet deadly.

My mother had demonstrated that the best way to defeat the numbing ambivalence of middle age is to surprise yourself - by pulling off some cartwheel of thought or action never even imagined at a younger age.

We need to be ambivalent - in the essay, and in life too.

Ambivalence - having mixed feelings, entertaining contradiction, living with fluctuation - is a widened embrace. It's about the coexistence of things, and in that light, we have no choice in the matter.

I think ethical ambivalence is a kind of innoculation, a way of excusing yourself in advance for something you actually want to do. No offense.

Some people have human muses - mine is a city.

I feel a startling ambivalence towards London, but for better or worse my work has come utterly to depend upon it.


Since time out of mind, a considered act of heroism has been the cure for stultifying ambivalence.

Prudence is not hesitation, procrastination, or moderation.

It is not driving in the middle of the road. It is not the way of ambivalence, indecision, or safety.

The biggest problem that women have is being ambivalent about their own power, .

.. We should be comfortable with the idea of wielding power. We shouldn't feel that it detracts from our femininity.

They say the definition of ambivalence is watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new Cadillac.

Life is full of tough decisions, and nothing makes them easy.

But the worst ones are really your personal koans, and tormenting ambivalence is just the sense of satori rising. Try, trust, try, and trust again, and eventually you'll feel your mind change its focus to a new level of understanding.