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Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.
– Josef Albers
As basic rules of a language must be practiced continually, and therefore are never fixed, so exercises toward distinct color effects never are done or over. New and different cases will be discovered time and again.
Any ground subtracts its own hue from the colors which it carries and therefore influences.
I’ve handled colour as a man should behave. You may conclude that I consider ethics and aesthetics as one.
I was for years in the yellow period, you know.
In Italy the artist is a god. Now if the artist is a god, the scientist is likewise a god.
In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is – as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.
Ah, the creative process is the same secret in science as it is in art. They are all the same absolutely.
Apprentice is the beginner – the first years you work in a craft in the European sense you are an apprentice. That takes 3 or 4 years. Then you are a journeyman. You can go from one master to another and learn other tricks and other secrets.
And I started with this: I have not painted at all my childhood. In fact, I never painted. But I helped my father who was a house painter and decorative painter. He made stage sets, he made glass paintings, he made everything.
I’m not a talker. I’m a formulator.
It was my family that wanted me to be a teacher. That was safe, you see. To be a painter was terrible.
It is not so for art in appreciation because art is concerned with human behavior. And science is concerned with the behavior of metal or energy. It depends on what the fashion is. Now today it’s energy. It’s the same soul behind it. The same soul, you see.
I was at the Royal Art School. That was a preparatory school specially for art teachers. You see, it was not so much for the development of artists. But we had there terribly stiff training.
I went to the Academy and studied with Stuck who was then a big man. But didn’t interest me. I didn’t know that before me there was Kandinsky and Klee who had also studied with Stuck. He had a good name at that time.
I count all the time on resonance. I call on this, you see.
My father’s parents were carpenters. They were also builders partly. They were painters. And several of them were very, active in the theatre and all such nonsense, you know.
If you don’t do it my way, I suggest you commit suicide.
I have taught my students not to apply rules or mechanical ways of seeing.
I have invented the Thermometer style.
I think Kandinsky and I were very near friends.
Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon – it is the very heart of painting.
I prefer to see with closed eyes.
On the little money I had collected I lived in Berlin very cheaply, ate very cheaply. And already in 1920 I saved the first salaries I received to go to Munich.
Instead of art I have taught philosophy. Though technique for me is a big word, I never have taught how to paint. All my doing was to make people to see.
I love very much to draw animals.