10 November 2007

Quote of the day

I know very well that in the realm of pure concentration your greatest enemies are the evils of the big wide world: motor cars, photographs, movies – all those things that more or less consciously take away from people their belief in their own individuality and their transcendent possibilities and turn them into stereotyped men. ... The important thing is first of all to have a real love for the visible world that lies outside ourselves as well as to know the deep secret of what goes on within ourselves. ... Remember that depth in space in a work of art (in sculpture, too, though the sculptor must work in a different medium) is always decisive. The essential meaning of space or volume is identical with individuality, or that which mankind calls God. For, in the beginning there was space, that frightening and unthinkable invention of the Force of the Universe. Time is the invention of mankind; space or volume, the palace of the gods. ... One must have the deepest respect for what the eye sees and for its representation on the area of the picture in height, width, and depth. We must observe what may be called the Law of the Surface, and this law must never be broken by using the false technique of illusion. Perhaps then we can find ourselves, see ourselves in the work of art. ... So, with all this work before you, your beauty culture and your devotion to the external pleasures of life must suffer. But take consolation in this: you will still have ample opportunity to experience agreeable and beautiful things, but these experiences will be more intense and alive if you yourself remain apart from the senseless tumult and bitter laughter of stereotyped man.

- Max Beckmann, Letters to a Woman Painter

2 comments:

George said...

I like your blog. I particularly like this post.

David Cauchi said...

Cheers! Max Beckmann is well worth having a look at. He's a bit neglected cos he doesn't fit neatly into any of the art historical boxes, but he's bloody good.

visitors since 29 March 2004.