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Tradition Art Quotes

71 art quotes about Tradition | Share this page of quotes about Tradition on Facebook | Submit more Tradition art quotes

Traditionally, art is to create and not to revive. To revive: leave that to the historians, who are looking backward. (Josef Albers)

Tradition is what you resort to when you don't have the time or the money to do it right. (Kurt Herbert Alder)

Tradition is the illusion of permanance. (Woody Allen)

As the spiral of modern art history continues to wind down, we can see the increasing demand for tradition in the visual arts. (Igor Babailov)

One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it. (Gaston Bachelard)

'Stale artifacts of the past' are always 'active components of the present moment' when they are experienced in the present moment. (Darby Bannard)

If some of the greats had followed the traditional ways we would be missing so much fine art. (Gene Black)

It amazes me sometimes that even intelligent people will analyze a situation or make a judgement after only recognizing the standard or traditional structure of a piece. (David Bowie)

-b.1729 d.1797...
People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors. (Edmund Burke)

If an art student is to do any good, his development will epitomize the history of painting. (Samuel Butler, novelist)

What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it. (Thomas Carlyle)

A world in everlasting conflict between the new idea and the old allegiances, new arts and new inventions against the old establishment. (Joyce Cary)

Surely, a single bunch of carrots painted naively, just as we personally see it, is worth all the endless banalities of the Schools, all those dreary pictures concocted out of tobacco juice according to time-honored formulas? (Paul Cezanne)

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. (G. K. Chesterton)

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow. (Bill Clinton)

You can't go back. I know that. But you can look back. (Jacob Collins)

We're losing our connection to the past. I don't want to document it or even glamorize it. I just want to pay tribute to it. (Cheryl Criss)

Those who feel guilty contemplating 'betraying' the tradition they love by acknowledging their disapproval of elements within it should reflect on the fact that the very tradition to which they are so loyal... is in fact the evolved product of many adjustments firmly but delicately made by earlier lovers of the same tradition. (Daniel Dennett)

The history of the past interests us only in so far as it illuminates the history of the present. (Ernest Dimnet)

Histories of ages past / Unenlightened shadows cast / Down through all eternity / The crying of humanity. (Donovan)

The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence... (T. S. Eliot)

The historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of literature from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. (T. S. Eliot)

New arts destroy the old. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

History develops, art stands still. (E. M. Forster)

People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things. (Buckminster Fuller)

The past is not the present: pretending it is corrupts art and thus both rots the mind and shrivels the imagination and conscience. (Paul Fussell)

We learn simply by the exposure of living, and what we learn most natively is the tradition in which we live. (David Pierpont Gardner)

Oh! The old European traditions! The timidities of expression of degenerate races! (Paul Gauguin)

Landscape painting tends to fall under more academic controls. I must say I often like working within these controls. It gives me the feeling that I'm taking part in a noble tradition. (Robert Genn)

Many of us knuckle-dragging brush-painters think that 'behind the times' is part of our job description. Why deny ourselves the authentic journey of a time-honoured form? (Robert Genn)

The bird has an honor that man does not have. Man lives in the traps of his abdicated laws and traditions; but the birds live according to the natural law of God who causes the earth to turn around the sun. (Kahlil Gibran)

Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can't even describe, aren't even aware of. (Ellen Goodman)

Whenever one honestly defies a tradition, one becomes, in reality, the more responsible to it. (Glenn Gould)

It belongs to journalism... that each new phase of Modernist art should be hailed as the start of a whole new epoch in art... each time, this expectation has been disappointed, as the phase of Modernist art in question finally takes its place in the intelligible continuity of taste and tradition. (Clement Greenberg)

We were told, quite seriously, that there never would be a Canadian art because we had no art tradition. (Lawren Harris)

Tradition supplants inspiration with the warmed-over article. (Henry S. Haskins)

When conventions are old, there's quite a good reason. It's not arbitrary. (David Hockney)

We broke from old tradition. I am an objective painter, I should like to go abstract, but I don't know how. (A. Y. Jackson)

We cannot inherit a fixed, unmoving view of life and of art from the past generation. (Asger Jorn)

Efforts to revive the art principles of the past at best produce works of art that resemble a stillborn child. (Wassily Kandinsky)

The artist must be blind to distinctions between 'recognized' and 'unrecognized' conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age. He must watch only the trend of the inner need, and hearken to its words alone. (Wassily Kandinsky)

Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay. (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. The average conservative is a slave to the most incidental and trivial part of his forefathers' glory - to the archaic formula which happened to express their genius or the eighteenth-century contrivance by which for a time it was served. (Walter Lippmann)

At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past. (Maurice Maeterlinck)

It is sometimes hard to escape the belief that history exists against the artist. (Hisham Matar)

A young painter who cannot liberate himself from the influence of past generations is digging his own grave. (Henri Matisse)

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. (Mignon McLaughlin)

I was brought up in the great tradition of the late nineteenth century: that a writer never complains, never explains and never disdains. (James A. Michener)

Echoes of the past are no longer needed. (Minna)

Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past. (Lewis Mumford)

Every work of art has been subjected, consciously or subconsciously, to traditional values in one form or another. The truth is that there is nothing original under the sun! (Leonard Niles)

There ought to be three traditions in the art of humanity: the realistic, the visionary and the wild. (Ben Okri)

Tradition is a prop for social security. (Walter J. Phillips)

By long-standing tradition, I take this opportunity to savage other designers in the thin disguise of good, clean fun. (P. J. Plauger)

-The War of Art
The professional respects his craft. He does not consider himself superior to it. He recognizes the contributions of those who have gone before him. He apprentices himself to them. (Steven Pressfield)

Traditional skills in art are boring to them [the media], they want something new and sensational, and they want it all the time, no matter how inept or opportunistic it might be. (Ron Ranson)

Art has arrived at the paradox that tradition itself requires the occurrence of radical attacks on tradition. (Harold Rosenberg)

Everyone becomes a part of history whether they like it or not and whether they know it or not. (Philip Roth)

Art is collective. Always, it has a tradition behind it. (Joanna Russ)

When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along. (Carl Sandburg)

A work of art rests its merits in traditional qualities. It may constitute a remarkable feat in craftsmanship; it may be a searching study of psychological states; it may be a nostalgic glance backward; it may be any one of an infinite number of concepts, none of which may have any possible bearing upon its degree of newness. (Ben Shahn)

I didn't have any interest in traditional art. (Cindy Sherman)

The emphasis on original, individual work in the past years has done a great deal to produce a crop of eccentric fakes and has carried art away from the stream of tradition. Tradition is our heritage of knowledge and experience. We can't get along without it. (John Sloan)

Study the great brush drawings of the Chinese and Japanese... When we try to imitate their conventions for perspective, form and texture we lose the content, because those artists were part of an ancient tradition. Our tradition changes rapidly, our schools of thought come to fruition quickly and decay again. We see differently. (John Sloan)

I believe that all poetry is formal in that it exists within limits, limits that are either inherited by tradition or limits that language itself imposes. (Mark Strand)

Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor. (Tacitus)

Since the last decades of the nineteenth century, revolt against the objectified world has determined the character of art and literature. (Paul Tillich)

We must see with our own eyes and not accept any laid-down tradition as if it had some magical power in it. (Chogyam Trungpa)

Conservatism is the maintenance of conventions already in force. (Thorstein Veblen)

I'm here and I have to be here but at the same time I'm tied back there. It's that representation and pulling and getting closer to that truth that my ancestors probably took for granted. (Connie Watts)

Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truth, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. (William Butler Yeats)


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Last modified: April 20, 2014