"As a result of the poverty of modern life, we are confronted with the circumstance that art is more interesting than life." Robert Motherwell, 1944.
"The Romantics were prompted to seek exotic subjects and to travel to far off places. They failed to realize that, though the transcendental must evolve the strange and unfamiliar, not everything strange and unfamiliar is transcendental.
The unfriendliness of society to his activity is difficult for the artist to accept. Yet this very hostility can act as a lever for true liberation.Freed froma false sense of security and community, the artist can abandon his plastic bank-book, just as he has abandoned other forms of security. Both the sense of community and of security depend on the familiar. Free of them, transcendental experiences become possible.
Even the archaic artist, who had an uncanny virtuousity, found it necessary to create a group of intermediaries, monsters, hybrids, gods and demigods. The difference is that, since the archaic artist was living in a more practical society than ours, the urgency for transcendant experience was understood, and given an official status. Without monsters and gods, art can not enact our drama: arts most profound moments express this frustration. When they were abandoned as untenable superstitions, art sank into melancholy. It became fond of the dark, and enveloped its objects in the nostalgic intimations of a half-lit world." Mark Rothko, 1947.