Jasper Johns - Language Quotes
4 Sourced Quotes
.. it seems to me that you could take the opposite point of view, and say that continuity (in language and in thought, B. K.) is the thing that is so distressing and that what one can do is attempt to create a discontinuous situation. It seems to me that continuity is almost a static concept. And since we have the concept of discontinuity it seems to me that it would be more interesting to attempt to establish that.
Like drawing a straight line – you draw a straight line and it's crooked and you draw another straight line on top of it and it's crooked a different way and then you draw another one and eventually you have a very rich thing on your hands which is not a straight line. If you can do that the it seems to me you are doing more than most people. The thing is, it is very difficult to know oneself whether one is doing that or not, whether you mean what you do; and there is the other problem of the way you do it and whether sometimes you do more than you mean or you do less than you mean. It's very good if you can establish a language where it's clear that that is what you are doing – that you do what you mean to do.
Marcel Duchamp, one of this century's pioneers, moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with Impressionism into a field where language, thought and vision act upon one another. There it changed form through a complex interplay of new mental and physical materials, heralding many of the technical, mental and visual details to be found in more recent art... He declared that he wanted to kill art ('for myself') but his persistent attempts to destroy frames of reference altered our thinking, established new units of thought, a "new thought for that object".
Painting has a nature which is not entirely translatable into verbal language. I think painting is a language, actually. It's linguistic in a sense, but not in a verbal sense. I think that one wants from painting a sense of life. And I think that is true. One wants to be able to use all of one's facilities in all aspects of one's life... You may have to choose how to respond and you may respond in a limited way, but you have been aware that you are alive. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement.