Max Beckmann quotes

  • I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Bridges #Invisible

  • Art is creative for the sake of realization, not for amusement... for transfiguration, not for the sake of play.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Art #Play #Creative

  • Painting constantly appeared to me as the one and only possible achievement.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Achievement #Painting

  • My heart beats more for a raw, average vulgar art, which doesn't live between sleepy fairy-tale moods and poetry but rather concedes a direct entrance to the fearful, commonplace, splendid and the average grotesque banality in life.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Art #Average #Fairy Tale

  • What is important to me in my work is the identity that is hidden behind so-called reality. I search for a bridge from the given present tot the invisible, rather as a famous cabalist once said, 'If you wish to grasp the invisible, penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible'.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Bridges #Important

  • The laws of art are eternal and don't change at all, as the moral laws don't change in human beings. (in discussion with Franz Marc who demanded in 'Der Blaue Reiter' around 1912 a new art, in relation to its own - changing - time).
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Art #Law #Moral

  • I have never, God or whatever knows, prostrated myself to be famous, but I would meander through all the sewers of the world, through all degradations and humiliations, in order to paint. I have to do this. Until the last drop every vision that exists in my being must be purged; then it will be a pleasure for me to be rid of this damned torture
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Order #Vision #Degradation

  • Often, very often, I am alone. My studio in Amsterdam, (Beckmann lived in the center of Amsterdam during World War 2.) an enormous old tobacco storeroom is again filled in my imagination with figures from the old days and from the new, like an ocean moved by storm and sun and always present in my thoughts. Then shapes become beings and seem comprehensible to me in the great void and uncertainty of the space which I call god.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #War #Ocean #Space

  • What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind so-called reality. I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality. It may sound paradoxical, but it is in fact reality which forms the mystery of our existence.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Bridges #Ideas

  • What are you? What am I? Those are the questions that constantly persecute and torment me and perhaps also play some part in my art.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Art #Play #Torment

  • There is nothing I hate more than sentimentality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Hate #I Hate #Sentimentality

  • Space, and space again, is the infinite deity which surrounds us and in which we are ourselves contained.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Space #Deities #Infinite

  • Learn by heart the forms to be found in nature, so that you can use them like the notes in a musical composition. That is what these forms are for. Nature is a marvellous chaos, and it is our job and our duty to bring order into that chaos and - to perfect it.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Jobs #Heart #Order

  • One thing is sure - we have to transform the three-dimensional world of objects into the two-dimensional world of the canvas.. ..To transform three into two dimensions is for me an experience full of magic in which I glimpse for a moment that fourth dimension which my whole being is seeking.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Two #Magic #Three

  • The world is rather shot to pieces (end of World War II), 1945), but the spectators climb out of their caves and pretend to have again become normal and customary humans who ask each other's pardon instead of eating one another or sucking each other's blood. The entertaining folly of war evaporates, distinguished boredom sits down again on the dignified old overstuffed chairs.. ..May I report about myself that I have had a truly grotesque time, brim-full with work, Nazi persecutions, bombs, hunger, and again and again work - in spite of everything (using his bed sheets as canvas
    -- Max Beckmann

    #War #Blood #Boredom

  • I am working here (in Amsterdam) on my last big triptych, which will be a tremendous story, and which gives me a more intense life and exhilaration. My God, life is worth living!
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Giving #Stories #Amsterdam

  • Politics is a subordinate matter; its form of appearance constantly changes depending on the needs of the masses, the same way cocottes adjust to the needs of men by transforming and masking themselves. Because of that it is not fundamental. That is about what endures, what is unique, what is in the stream of illusions - what is eliminated from the workings of the shadows.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Unique #Men #Shadow

  • It is, of course, a luxury to create art and, on top of this, to insist on expressing one's own artistic opinion. Nothing is more luxurious than this. It is a game and a good game, at least for me; one of the few games which make life, difficult and depressing as it is sometimes, a little more interesting.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Depressing #Art #Games

  • As a painter, cursed or blessed with a terrible and vital sensuousness, I must look for wisdom with my eyes. I repeat, with my eyes, for nothing could be more ridiculous or irrelevant than a 'philosophical conception painted purely intellectually without the terrible fury of the senses grasping each visible form of beauty and ugliness.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Blessed #Philosophical #Eye

  • One of my problems is to find the Ego, which has only one form and is immortal - to find it in animals and men, in the heaven and in the hell which together form the world in which we live.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Men #Animal #Heaven

  • Colour, as the strange and magnificent expression of the inscrutable spectrum of Eternity, is beautiful and important to me as a painter; I use it to enrich the canvas and to probe more deeply into the object. Colour also decided, to a certain extent, my spiritual outlook, but it is subordinated to life, and above all, to the treatment of form. Too much emphasis on colour at the expense of form and space would make a double manifestation of itself on the canvas, and this would verge on craft work.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Beautiful #Spiritual #Expression

  • The metaphysics of substance. The strange feeling which comes over us when we sense: this is skin - this is bone - all in a single vision that is completely unearthly. The dreaminess of our existence mixed at the same time with the indescribably sweet illusion of reality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Sweet #Reality #Feelings

  • The individual representation of the object, treated sympathetically or antipathetically, is highly necessary and is an enrichment to the world in form. The elimination of the human relationship causes the vacuum which makes all of us suffer in various degrees - an individual alteration of the details of the object represented is necessary in order to display on the canvas the whole physicals reality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Order #Suffering

  • One of my problems is to find the self.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Self #Problem

  • When spiritual, metaphysical, material, or immaterial events come into my life, I can only fix them by way of painting.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Spiritual #Healing #Events

  • What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind so-called reality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Ideas #Want

  • It was so wonderful outside that even the wild senselessness of this enormous death, whose music I hear again and again, could not disturb me from my great enjoyment!
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Wonderful #Enormous #Enjoyment

  • I do not weep: I loathe tears, for they are a sign of slavery.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Tears #Slavery

  • I believe the reason I love painting so much is that it forces one to be objective.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Believe #Painting #Reason

  • I hardly need to abstract things, for each object is unreal enough already, so unreal that I can only make it real by means of painting.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Real #Mean #Needs

  • I went across the fields to avoid the straight highways, along the firing lines where people were shooting at a small wooded hill, which is now covered with wooden crosses and lines of graves instead of spring flowers.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Spring #Flower #People

  • In principle, any abstraction of the object is allowed which has a sufficiently strong creative power behind it.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Strong #Creative #Principles

  • The greatest mystery of all is reality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Reality #Mystery

  • If you wish to get hold of the invisible you must penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Wish #Invisible

  • My figures come and go, suggested by fortune or misfortune. I try to fix them divested of their apparent accidental quality.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Trying #Quality #Fortune

  • I think only of objects: of a leg or an arm, of the wonderful sense of foreshortening, breaking through the plane, of the division of space, of the combination of straight lines in relation to curved ones.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Thinking #Space #Division

  • The stronger and more intense my desire becomes to capture and record that which is unsayable, the more tightly my mouth stays shut.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Desire #Stronger #Records

  • Love in an animal sense is an illness, but a necessity which one has to overcome.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Animal #Overcoming #Illness

  • Painting is a very difficult thing. It absorbs the whole man, body and soul, thus have I passed blindly many things which belong to real and political life.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Real #Men #Political

  • Height, width, and depth are the three phenomena which I must transfer into one plane to form the abstract surface of the picture, and thus to protect myself from the infinity of space.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Space #Three #Height

  • I passed blindly many things which belong to real and political life.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Real #Political

  • All important things in art have always originated from the deepest feeling about the mystery of Being.
    -- Max Beckmann

    #Art #Inspiration #Feelings