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Hello from Greece! I just came across some wonderful quotes by the abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and his favorite philosopher Nietzsche, but it was not indicated where they came from. I would really like to know! Please help me with that! Your prompt reply will be greatly appreciated! If its not too much, please also indicate pages. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to read an entire book…

Maria Nefeli Galanou

“without monsters and god, art cannot enact a drama (...) when they are abandoned as untenable superstitions, art sank into melancholy”.-R

“are those of the single human figure alone in a moment of utter immobility”-R

“indicate its concern with the fact of morality and an insatiable appetite for ubiquitous experience in the face of this fact”-R

“of breathing and stretching one’s arms again”-R

“human figure alone in a moment of utter immobility”-R

“dramatic themes of myth”.-R

“the loss of myth, of a mythic home, the mythic womb”. Ðáñáôçñåß üôé “Man today, stripped of myth, stands famished among all his pasts and must dig frantically for roots, be it among the most remove antiquities”…
“every culture that has lost a myth has lost, by the same token, its natural, healthy creativity.” NIETZSCHE

“the growth of a child’s mind and (...) to a mature man his life and struggles”- N.

“The exhilarated tragic experience” “is for me the only source of art”.- R
“of man, bird, beast and tree (...) merge into a single tragic idea”-R

“it is an easy matter to explain the befuddled that (Gottlieb’s) Rape of Persephone is a poetic expression of the essence of myth: the presentation of the concept of seed and its earth with all its brutal implications; the impact of elemental truth.

It is easy to explain The Syrian Bull as a new interpretation of an archaic image, resolving unprecedented distortions. Since art is timeless, the significant rendition of a symbol, no matter how archaic, has as full a validity today as the archaic symbol had then.”- R

I insist upon the equal existence of the world engendered in the mind and the world engendered by God outside of it. If I have faltered in the use of familiar objects, it is because I refuse to mutilate their appearance for the sake of an action which they are too old to serve, or for which perhaps they had never been intended. I quarrel with surrealists and abstract art only as one quarrels with his father and mother; recognizing the inevitability and function of my roots, but insistent upon my dissent: I, being both they, as an integral completely independent of them.- R

“I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however (...) is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command!”- R

“only in expressing basic human emotions as tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on. And that fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions ... The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationship, then you miss the point.”- R

“ color is merely an instrument”.-R

“tragedy, ecstasy and doom”.

“something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room. If the restaurant would refuse to put up my murals, that would be the ultimate compliment. But they won’t. People can stand anything these days.”- R

“the room had exactly the feeling that I wanted (...) it gives the visitor the feeling of being caught in a room with the doors and windows walled-in shut.”-R



I do not have the time to go through each quote for you....  They are all from Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy.  This link has a complete translation of the German text in English.

Cheers, Brent

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Brent Luebke


19th Century to modern Canadian and western European fine art including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and original prints.


Sixteen years as an art dealer in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

Edmonton Executive Association

Edmonton Journal newspaper, various online art websites.

Post secondary art history.

Past/Present Clients
Art Gallery of Alberta, University of Alberta, Glenbow Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada.

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