"For this seems, finally, to be the law of all the arts - one essential prerequisite to
the production of a great work of art is a great man. You cannot have the art without the man,
and when you have the man you have the art. His time and his surroundings will color him; his art
will not be at one time or place precisely what it might be at another; but in the end, the art
is the man and at all times and in all countries is just as great as the man.
Let us clear our minds, then, of the illusion that there is in any important sense
such a thing as progress in the fine arts. We may with a clear conscience judge every
new work for what it appears in itself to be, asking of it that it be noble and beautiful
and reasonable, not that it be novel or progressive. If it be great art it will always be
novel enough, for there will be a great mind behind it, and no two great minds are alike.
And if it be novel without being great, how shall we be the better off? There are enough
forms of mediocre or evil art in the world already. Being no longer intimidated by the fetish
of progress, when a thing calling itself a work of art seems to us hideous and degraded,
indecent and insane, we shall have the courage to say so and shall not care to investigate
Kenyon Cox (1856-1919)
The American Academy of Arts and Letters
December 13, 1912
"From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The 'refined, 'the rich, the professional 'do-nothing, 'the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not it the grand old meaning of the word; Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown – a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest."
Pablo Picasso, 1952
The Mathmatical Basis of The Arts
True art, which can be defined as natural and organic art, has a general appeal and does not require any explanations, just as bird's plumage, their singing, the murmur of a brook, leaves, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, sunsets and sunrises do not require any explanation.
Depite the propaganda, the "isms" of art, [Cubism, Modernism, Surrealism etc.] cultivate little more than hypocrisy in the semi-literate and pseudo-cultured strata of the population.
Art is organic when its form can be traced back to its organic source, as the winding staircase (Architecture) can be traced back to antlers, horns and cockleshells.
Experimental artists, the "ism" makers like Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, not to mention hundreds of their followers, are not bringing us a step closer to the evaluation of organic art forms. Many of these "modern" artists merely impose upon us their unsound, insane, feverish, dreamy and distorted hallucinations of an actuality given to us by nature to be consumed and enjoyed.
There should be one criterion in art and art appreciation: its sanity as revealed in its organic quality, that is, its life, and ultimately - growth.
Joseph Schillinger (1895-1943)
The Mathmatical Basis of the Arts