Art Presentations by Wendy Evans


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Quotations about Art by Author

Neil MacGregor
(born 1946)

Objects take you into the thought world of the past.
[2010 interview with Director of the British Museum]

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Life is the leaves which shape and nourish a plant but art is the flower which embodies its meaning.

Rene Magritte (1898-1967)

Too often we tend to reduce what is strange to what is familiar. I intend to restore the familiar to the strange.

Rene Magritte

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.

Kasimir Malevich

A face painted in a picture gives a pitiful parody of life. . . but a painted surface lives.

Andre Malraux

Art is a revolt against fate.

Franz Marc

Art has always been and is in its very essence the boldest departure from nature.  It is the bridge into the spirit world.

Chris Martin

Abstract painting is dead.  That’s why it has become so interesting again.  [2007]

Henri Matisse

The splitting up of color [as Impressionists did] brought the splitting up of form and contour . . . Everything is reduced to a mere sensation of the retina, but one which destroys all tranquility of surface and contour.  Objects are differentiated only by the luminosity that is given them.

Henri Matisse

Color was not given to us in order that we should imitate nature.  It was given to us so we can express our own emotions.

Henri Matisse

If I close my eyes, I see things better than with my eyes open.

Henri Matisse

I don't paint women, I paint pictures. . . What I am after above all is expression.  If in a portrait I put eyes, a nose, a mouth, there isn't much use; on the contrary it paralyses the imagination of the spectator, and obliges us to see the person in a certain way.

Henri Matisse

I have always tried to hide my own efforts and wished my works to have the lightness and joyousness of a springtime which never lets anyone suspect the work that went into them.  But I fear young painters seeing them will ignore the slow and painful work on drawing that is indispensable.  

Henri Matisse

I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture.  [Notes d'un peintre, 1908]

Henri Matisse

You want to paint?  First of all you must cut off your tongue because your decision takes away from you the right to express yourself with anything but your brush.

Henri Matisse

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue. 

Henri Matisse

When a painting is finished, it's like a new born child, and the artist himself must have time for understanding. How then do you expect an amateur to understand that which the artist dos not yet comprehend. 
[Matisse Speaks, New York World Telegram, June 3, 1933 - in answer to a question about the aesthetic perceptions of rich old lady patrons]

Henri Matisse

Beauty comes from the balance between two and three dimensions, between abstraction and representation - I seek the equilibrium behind changing appearances.

André Maurois

Art is an effort to create, beside the real world, a more human world. 

Somerset Maugham

Beauty is an ecstasy, it is as simple as hunger. [In Cakes and Ale]

Somerset Maugham

It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

David McCullough

Each generation, we peel back biases that have blinded those before us.  The more we know about the past enables us to ask richer and more provocative questions about who we are today.  
[Quoted in American Heritage winter 2008]

Marshall McLuhan

Art is anything you can get away with. 

H.L. Mencken

Explanations exist: they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every problem -- neat, plausible and wrong.

Charles McGee
(born 1924)

Learn what the artist was thinking about - I don't want to cut off my ear and that is what people talk about.  Life events should not be the main feature in talking about art.

Charles McGee

I have to run as far as I can.  It's like I just came out of the womb.  If you stop learning - God, what is there?  
[Quoted in The Detroit News July 21, 2012]

Thomas Merton

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
[No Man is an Island]


It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges. 


A man paints with his brains not with his hands. 


My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through earth's loveliness. 


The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. 

Henry Miller

Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.

Carl Milles

Nothing is ugly except stupidity.

Piet Mondrian

I don't want pictures, I want to find things out.

Claude Monet

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.

Claude Monet

I want to grasp the intangible.  It's terrible how the light runs out, taking color with it.  Color, any color, lasts a second, sometimes three or four minutes at the most.  [Said to Rene Gimpel, August 19, 1918]

Claude Monet

Light is the principal person in the picture.  [Describing Impressionism]

Claude Monet

When you go out to paint try to forget what objects you have before you
- a tree, a pond, a bridge - merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink
, a streak of yellow and paint it just as it looks to you. . . till it gives your own naive impression of the scene before you. 

Claude Monet

Each evening Manet and his friends met after the day's work in the studio ended. . .  Nothing could be more interesting than the talks we had, with their perpetual clashes of opinion. . . You always went home afterwards better steeled for the day, with a new sense of purpose and a clearer head.

Henry Moore

If an artist tries consciously to do something to others, it is to stretch their eyes, their thoughts, to something they would not see or feel if the artist had not done it.  To do this, first he has to stretch his own first. form and shape of things.

Henry Moore

Art is to make our lives richer and fuller.

Henry Moore

Abstraction means getting away from a visual interpretation but nearer to an emotional one.

Henry Moore

The first hole is a revelation.

Henry Moore

A sculptor is a person obsessed with the form and shape of things.

Henry Moore

I would like my work to be thought of as a celebration of life and nature..

Gustave Moreau

I believe only in what I do not see. 

Berthe Morisot

My ambition [in art] is limited to the desire to capture something transient, and yet, this ambition is excessive. 

Berthe Morisot

I don't think there has ever been a man who treated a woman as an equal and that's all I would have asked, for I know I'm worth as much as they.

William Morris (1834-1896)

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

John Viscount Morley

   You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

Robert Morris

   Anything that is used as art is art.

Koloman Mosser and Josef Hoffman

So long as our cities, our houses, our rooms, our furniture our effects, our clothes and our jewelry, so long as our language and feelings fail to reflect the spirit of our times in a plain, simple and beautiful way, we shall be infinitely behind our ancestors.
[Manifesto of the Weiner Werkstatte, 1905] 

Robert Motherwell

The abstractness of modern art has to do with how much an enlightened mind rejects of the contemporary social order.
[The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, 1992] 

Edvard Munch

Just as Leonardo da Vinci studied human anatomy and dissected corpses, so I try to dissect souls. 

Edvard Munch

All art, literature, and music must be born in your heart's blood.  Art is your heart's blood. 



Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It's the aim of art to give it some.


Jean Anouilh