Pearls from artists* # 265September 13, 2017
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
I remember hearing Adolph Gottlieb on a panel once at NYU, and Adolph said, in effect – I’m not quoting him directly – “I don’t paint for the masses. I paint for the elite. The masses are not interested in what I do. They won’t understand this kind of painting that I do, and it won’t come through to them.”
I understood perfectly what he meant, and I was totally sympathetic. But the audience, which was not quite an audience of proletariat workers, but an audience of school of education, art teachers, or art teachers to be, were going out of their heads with rage just at the mention of the elite.
I think there is an elite, and there always was an elite for painting or good music or for good literature. For a long time there has been, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. What it means to a lot of people, the elite is the wealthy or something like that. Adolph, I don’t think, was referring to an elite of the wealthy, where the people run the government or something like that, but to those people who are concerned and interested in the most sophisticated, meaningful painting there is.
The Art Life: On Creativity and Career by Stuart Horodner
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