Quotes by abstract artists on abstract art

Abstract art is, by its very nature, hard to classify or comprehend. It often sits at the edge of reason but it’s all the more powerful because of this.

What better way to understand abstract art than to ask the artists themselves for their thoughts on their own creations and the movement they sustained.  Here are some fascinating quotes from some of the greatest abstract artists about abstract art.  Enjoy!


The modern artist… is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.

Jackson Pollock


Non-figurative art is created by establishing a dynamic rhythm of determinate mutual relations which excludes the formation of any particular form.

Piet Mondrian


Only when the habit of one’s consciousness to see in paintings bits of nature, madonnas and shameless nudes… has disappeared, shall we see a pure painting composition.

Kasimir Malevich


The picture must be… a revelation, an unexpected and unprecedented resolution of an eternally familiar need.

Mark Rothko


The landscapes were in my arms as I did it.

Helen Frankenthaler


The appearances of natural objects are in themselves meaningless; the essential thing is feeling – in itself and completely independent of the context in which it has been evoked.

Kasimir Malevich


I paint not the things I see but the feelings they arouse in me.

Franz Kline


I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions. And the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate these basic human emotions.

Mark Rothko


All individual thought is dissolved in universal thought, as all form is dissolved in the universal plastic means of Abstract-Real painting.

Piet Mondrian


Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and … stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to “walk about” into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?”

Wassily Kandinsky


Let us note that art – even on an abstract level – has never been confined to ‘idea’; art has always been the ‘realized’ expression of equilibrium.

Piet Mondrian


I can make no statement about reality clearer than my own relationship to reality; and this has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty, transience, incompleteness, or whatever. But this doesn’t explain the pictures. At best it explains what led to their being painted.

Gerhard Richter


Things are beautiful or ugly only in time and space. The new man’s vision being liberated from these two factors, all is unified in one unique beauty.

Piet Mondrian