David Abbott

Agnes Martin

  • I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect - completely removed in fact - even as we ourselves are.
  • Art work has only a tintering of what it attempts to represent to the artist and to responsive observers. It is not beneficial, nothing is gained from it, and it does not tell the truth. It is enjoyed or not according to the condition of the observer. A very small gesture of exultation.
  • 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, more 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 purposely conceived. The response depends upon the condition of the observer.
  • But inspiration is really just the guide to the next thing and may be what we call success or failure. The bad paintings have to be painted and to the artist these are more valuable than those paintings later brought before the public.
  • To feel confident and successful is not natural to the artist. To feel insufficient, to experience disappointment and defeat in waiting for inspiration is the natural state of mind of an artist.
  • People think that painting is about color. It's mostly composition. It's composition that's the whole thing.
  • You are what goes through your mind
  • We have a tremendous range of abstract feelings but we don’t pay any attention to them

May 2, 2022

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