The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
This sentiment is later repeated again and again by various modern artists. Makes me wonder whether they read Aristotle in school.
Swiss painter Paul Klee (1879-1940): Art does not reproduce the visible; rather it makes visible.
Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957): What is real is not the appearance/external form, but the idea, the essence of things...It is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.
French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954): I do not literally paint the table, but the emotion it produces upon me.
When you read what several visitors to this blog have expressed about art and communication, I think you’ll agree that they’re all referring not to the outer representation or facsimile of nature, a person or thing, but to something that happens inside--inside the artist and inside the viewer.
I don't remember where I came across the following by American landscape painter George Inness (1825–94), but his words echo the responses above: A work of art does not appeal to the intellect...Its aim is not to instruct...but to awaken an emotion.
I’ll end with a quote a friend offered after reading My Name is Red, a novel by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk:
Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight.
Without even knowing what the book is about, I requested it from the library because I’m hoping to come across more of Pamuk’s poetically phrased insights about art.
Questions to reflect and comment on:
What role do emotions play in your experience of making or viewing art?
What works of art or artists in particular affect you on an emotional or spiritual level?