quotes about art, architecture and other important things

a collection of quotes that I gathered over the years through my reading.  I don't necessarily agree with all of the ideas and opinions expressed herein but those that either provoked thought or tickled were included.

artist Archives - Page 2 of 2 - studio of Glenn Williams Architect NCARB

on managing expectations

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“The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.”  – – Leonardo da Vinci, [1452-1519] (first a Florentine) Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer – some would say archetypal Renaissance Man

portrait of Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi

portrait of Leonardo da Vinci by Francesco Melzi


I’m confused – is it less or is it more?

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“I could count twenty such
On twice your fingers, and not leave this town,
Who strive–you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,–
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter)–so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.”

from the poem  Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning [1812-1889] English poet


Less is more.” – – Mies van der Rohe [1886-1969] German American architect

Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Less is a bore.” – – Robert Venturi [b.1925] American architect


Robert Charles Venturi, Jr.

“More is more.” – – Tony Duquette [1914-1999] American artist


Tony Duquette at his Malibu, CA ranch

“More is a bore.”- – Bjarke Ingels [b. 1974] Danish architect

Bjarke Ingels in 2012

Bjarke Ingels in 2012

“Less and less is more and more.” – – Tom Wolfe [b. 1931] American writer (I think this is attributable to Wolfe though I can’t locate the source.  If he didn’t write or utter it he ought to have.)

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr.

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr.


keep it simple

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“To make the simple complex with the useless is both futile and nihilistic.” – – Carlo Aymonino [1926-2010] Italian architect


Carlo Aymonino

“You only have one idea in your life.” – – Frank Gehry [b. 1929] Canadian American architect

Frank Owen Gehry, FAIA

Frank Owen (Goldberg) Gehry, FAIA, CC

“Everything should be made as simple as possible.” – – T. S. Eliot [1888-1965] American British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and “one of the twentieth century’s major poets.”

Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM

Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM

“No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.” – – John Ruskin [1819–1900] English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist

John Ruskin in 1863

John Ruskin in 1863