Art & Science quotes

“To me the most interesting thing about man is that he is an animal who practices art and science and, in every known society, practices both together.”

— Jacob Bronowski

“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?”

— Ernst Haas

“To lose the scar of knowledge is to renew the wound. An art that heals and protects its subject is a geography of scars.”

—Wendell Berry

“The modern work of art has no problem of meaning, it has only a problem of use.”

— Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs

“All great works of art are more like amorphous organisms that exist within an ecological system than like solid and fixed systems.They have the capacity to continuously expand towards us from their original location in a specific time and place on many levels - the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, practical, social, educational, institutional and financial - while simultaneously merging with other works of art. An encounter is much more than simply a way of enjoying leisure time or a pretext for amassing historical and theoretical data. It could be a matter of survival.”

— Simon Morley, “The Seven Keys to Modern Art”, Thames & Hudson publishers.

“Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities.”

— Eric Hoffer

“I grew up thinking art was pictures until I got into music and found I was an artist and didn’t paint.”

— Chuck Berry

“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”

— W. Somerset Maugham

“Scientists tend to operate through a logical process in the material world. In science it seems necessary that your facts be concrete, repeatable, and predictable, which means there has to be an existing reliable form of measure. And the only reliable forms of measure, as far as science is concerned, are pure abstractions, that is, abstract systems which can be overlaid onto the world of experience. Euclidean geometry or clocks or scales are pure abstractions. You can count on them to be the same every time. And, as long as you have that kind of measure, then what you’re getting can be held to be factual, as it were, in line with the original hypotheses and proved in performance.
… Reasoning appears to be more confused, more haphazard, partly because of the scale of what it tries to deal with. The logical, in a sense, seems more successful because it cuts the scale down. In fact, that’s what makes it logical: it takes a very concise cut in the world and simply defines or refines by deduction the properties of that cut, but it never deals with the overall complexities of the situation. It only applies within the confines within which it operates, so it seems much clearer.
The artist, however, as a reasoning being, deals with the overall complexity of which all the logical subsystems are merely segments, and (s)he deals with them through the intuitive side of human potential - and here the inconsistencies are as meaningful as consistencies.“

— Robert Irwin

“Art, when it’s not primarily a commodity, opens the door to another reality.”

— Jem Cohen

“The word “art” is something the West has never understood. Art is supposed to be a part of a community. Like, scholars are supposed to be a part of a community… Art is to decorate people’s houses, their skin, their clothes, to make them expand their minds, and it’s supposed to be right in the community, where they can have it when they want it… It’s supposed to be as essential as a grocery store… that’s the only way art can function naturally.”

— Amiri Baraka

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”

— Junot Diaz

“It isn’t that I like it and I don’t like it—that’s too simple. Or, if you will, it isn’t “both yes and no.” It’s “this but also that.” I’d love to settle in on a strong feeling or reaction. But, having seen whatever I see, my mind keeps on going and I see something else. It’s that I quickly see the limitations of whatever I say or whatever judgment I make about anything. There’s a wonderful remark of Henry James: “Nothing is my last word on anything.” There’s always more to be said, more to be felt.”

— Susan Sontag: Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 143

“How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.”

— Isaac Asimov, “Art and Science,” The Roving Mind, 1983.

“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”

— Samuel Beckett