19th-century Sculptor Quotes
Painting for me is like a fabric, all of a piece and uniform, with one set of threads as the representational, esthetic element, and the cross-threads as the technical, architectural, or abstract element. These threads are interdependent and complementary, and if one set is lacking the fabric does not exist. A picture with no representational purpose is to my mind always an incomplete technical exercise, for the only purpose of any picture is to achieve representation.
As paradoxical as it may seem a great sculptor is as much a colourist as the best painter, or rather the best engraver. He plays so skillfully with all the resources of relief, he blends so well the boldness of light with the modesty of shadow, that his sculptures please one, as much as the most charming etchings.
The immobility that the artist creates is not at all that of the photograph. A worth of art contains latent life, possibility of movement; a grimace made eternal does not represent life. One always talks of Donatello, but never of della Quercia. Yet della Qercia invented Michelangelo's style before Michelangelo.
At first, I thought I had found in this second figure [a bronze Orpheus, Zadkine made just after his return from New York, in 1944] the perfect solution, but a surprise awaited me. One day my coal merchant delivered to me, here in my studio, some wood for heating; among these logs I found a rudimentary but completely mysterious wooden figure of a man. He seemed to be walking in great strides, his torso suggested by only two simple boards which, in their structure, were very much like an ancient lyre. I immediately began working on a new 'Orpheus', in which the instrument had truly become part of the man.
I allow myself to be guided by the work which is in the process of being born, I have confidence in it (automatic painting). I do not think about it. The forms arrive pleasant, or strange, hostile, inexplicable, mute, or drowsy. They are born from themselves. It seems to me as if all I do is move my hands.
I cannot kill. Unfortunately, there are so many who can and do kill. As I cannot kill I cannot authorize others to kill. Do you see? If you are buying from a butcher you are authorizing him to kill — kill helpless, dumb creatures, which neither I nor you could kill ourselves. So that I am for that reason a vegetarian, as most Russians are. For nine years I have been a vegetarian, and I shall be one — mind, I am a man with strong convictions — to the end of my life.