David Sylvester on painting

`It’s order as well as its subject matter can be evolved in the act of painting, for the ultimate reality of painting lies in painting.’ ~ David Sylvester


David Sylvester on painting

“before the work conveys reality it must achieve its own reality, before it can be a symbol it must rejoice in being a fact, and the more it affirms its autonomous reality the more will it contain the possibility of returning us to the reality of life.” David Sylvester

The choice between being figurative and abstract



KAZIMIR MALEVICH, Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying, 1915

“The choice between being figurative and abstract is really so instinctive that it scarcely is a choice. Making abstract art is an ascetic activity, a way of testing oneself as to what one can do with limited means: it’s like fighting with one hand behind one’s back or being a vegetarian cook. Making a figurative art is an inclusive activity, a way of testing oneself as to how many things one can handle simultaneously. Mondrian and Malevich were afraid of having too much to work with. Braque and Picasso were afraid of too little.” ~ David Sylvester, (To be as real as the real thing’ in the Independent on Sunday Review for 15th December 1996)


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