Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quote of the day, Oct 29, 2009

Today's quote I just found from Agnes Martins writings book. This woman has such amazing insights into the world of painting.

BTW, If you ever get the chance, check out the documentary on Agnes. It's fantastic.

"When we go to Museums we do not just look, we make a definite response to the work. As we look at it we are happier or more sad, at peace or more depressed. A work may stimulate yearning, helplessness, belligerence, or remorse.

The cause of the response is not traceable in the work. An artist cannot and does not prepare for a certain response. He does not consider the response but simply follows his inspiration.

Works of art are not to be purposely conceived. The response depends upon the condition of the observer."



  1. Now that's odd quote from Agnes Martins to me. If the cause of the response is not traceable in the work, then how does she know we make definite responses to the work when we go to museums? One of the most fundamental ways we're stimulated to yearning, helplessness, belligerence, remorse, etc. while viewing works of art in museums is by purposely conceiving them.

  2. It's a lot about how people have reacted to abstract painting over the years. It always seemed to me to be an extension of what Barnett Newman said, "When you see a person for the first time, you have a reaction, and it's an immediate and total reaction upon which you the viewer and the painting make contact. And in my thoughts it's almost a metaphysical event."


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