Madness, provided it comes as the gift of heaven, is the channel by which we receive the greatest blessings... the men of old who gave things their names saw no disgrace or reproach in madness; otherwise they would not have connected it with the name of the noblest of arts, the art of discerning the future, and called it the manic art... So, according to the evidence provided by our ancestors, madness is a nobler thing than sober sense... madness comes from God, whereas sober sense is merely human.
The Greek word euphuia, a finely tempered nature, gives exactly the notion of perfection as culture brings us to perceive it; a harmonious perfection, a perfection in which the characters of beauty and intelligence are both present, which unites "the two noblest of things"--as Swift . . . most happily calls them in his Battle of the Books, "the two noblest of things, sweetness and light.
Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, Are merely shadows cast by outward things On stone or canvas, having in themselves No separate existence. Architecture, Existing in itself, and not in seeming A something it is not, surpasses them As substance shadow.
I believe that dance is the oldest, noblest and most cogent of the arts. I believe that dance is the most perfect symbol of the activity of God and His angels. I believe that dance has the power to heal, mentally and physically. I believe that true education in the art of dance is education of the whole man.
To the question, 'Is the cinema an art?' my answer is, 'what does it matter?'... You can make films or you can cultivate a garden. Both have as much claim to being called an art as a poem by Verlaine or a painting by Delacroix... Art is 'making.' The art of poetry is the art of making poetry. The art of love is the art of making love... My father never talked to me about art. He could not bear the word.
Has it led you to the conclusion that photography is an art ? Or it is simply a means of recording ? "I'm glad you asked that. I've been wanting to say this for years. Is cooking an art ? Is talking an art ? Is even painting an art ? It is artfulness that makes art, not the medium itself. Of course photography is an art - when it is in the hands of artists."
The one object of fifty years of abstract art is to present art-as-art and as nothing else, to make it into the one thing it is only, separating and defining it more and more, making it purer and emptier, more absolute and more exclusive - non-objective, non-representational, non-figurative, non-imagist, non-expressionist, non-subjective. the only and one way to say what abstract art or art-as-art is, is to say what it is not.
Fine art, that exists for itself alone, is art in a final state of impotence. If nobody, including the artist, acknowledges art as a means of knowing the world, then art is relegated to a kind of rumpus room of the mind and the irresponsibility of the artist and the irrelevance of art to actual living becomes part and parcel of the practice of art.
What makes art Christian art? Is it simply Christian artists painting biblical subjects like Jeremiah? Or, by attaching a halo, does that suddenly make something Christian art? Must the artist's subject be religious to be Christian? I don't think so. There is a certain sense in which art is its own justification. If art is good art, if it is true art, if it is beautiful art, then it is bearing witness to the Author of the good, the true, and the beautiful
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