Harold Rosenberg - Painting Quotes
6 Sourced Quotes
The interval during which a painting is mistaken for the real thing, or a real thing for a painting, is the triumphant moment of trompe l'oeil art. The artist appears to be potent as nature, if not superior to it. Almost immediately, though, the spectator's uncertainty is eliminated by his recognition that the counterfeit is counterfeit. Once the illusion is dissolved, what is left is an object that is interesting not as a work of art but as a successful simulation of something that is not art. The major response to it is curiosity: "How did he do it?"
Illusionistic art appeals to what the public knows not about art but about things. This ability to brush art aside is the secret of the popularity of illusionism. Ever since the Greeks told of painted grapes being pecked by real birds, wonder at skill in deceiving the eye has moved more people than appreciation of aesthetic quality. But for art to depend exclusively upon reproducing appearances has the disadvantage of requiring that the painting or sculpture conform to the common perception of things.