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Gallery Quotes

We’ve collected the best Gallery Quotes from the greatest minds of the world: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Green, J. Carter Brown, Beeban Kidron, Jeff Koons. Use them as an inspiration.

I learned early in my career, where you get so wrapped up and so excited, that all of a sudden you don’t think. So I worked very hard to keep myself suppressed. And that’s one of the reasons I wasn’t gregarious with the gallery.
When you get older, you look at who has power differently. When you’re 21 years old, and you do something ridiculous at the National Art Gallery and get kicked out by the security guard, in your mind, you’re speaking truth to power.
The Washingtonian said it shouldn’t be built. The gallery’s East Building is now considered a triumph, and members of the American Association of Architects have voted it one of the best buildings of all time.
J. Carter Brown
When I was 13, I had a weekend job at the Photographers Gallery Bookshop in London.
I love the gallery, the arena of representation. It’s a commercial world, and morality is based generally around economics, and that’s taking place in the art gallery.
I thought art was dead rabbits hanging by their feet on a wall. I went to Italy and saw all the religious paintings, and they didn’t move me all that much. Then someone invited me to see this van Gogh exhibit at the Rosenberg Gallery in San Francisco.
Irving Stone
They are at the end of the gallery; retired to their tea and scandal, according to their ancient custom.
William Congreve
If you think about the way we experience art, the paradigm is still Western European. If I go to the National Gallery, what am I going to see the most of? I’m not going to see a whole lot of black figures in pictures.
Being on your own in a gallery is the biggest treat, as long as the lights are switched on.
I’ve become convinced that Los Angeles is going to become the next contemporary art capital – no other city has more contemporary gallery space than Los Angeles. We’ve come into our own, finally.
If you look at a painting that you love by one of the great masters, every time you go back to it, you see something different – a different attitude or brushstroke. ‘Hamlet‘ is like an entire gallery of old masters.
Because of my job, I get a lot of opportunity to grab a few days here and there in many cool cities for press commitments, magazine shoots and premieres – Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Stockholm, New York, Berlin. I always try to get to a gallery or museum if there’s time.
It was my father‘s hope, and it is ours, that the National Gallery would become not a static but a living institution, growing in usefulness and importance to artists, scholars and the general public.
Paul Mellon
I don’t go digital. I was never good with technology. I didn’t have a cellphone until I moved to New York. My gallery was like, ‘What? How are we supposed to contact you?’
Marcel Dzama
As humans we look at things and think about what we’ve looked at. We treasure it in a kind of private art gallery.
Thom Gunn
You just gotta record stuff and move on and make new material. Painters don’t wait until they’re in some specific gallery before they move on to the next painting.
You know how you feel somebody looking at you, and you turn, and somebody actually is? It’s the same at an art gallery. You’re looking at one portrait, turn around, and there is a work of art directly behind you. Because it’s all energy. Every single thing has energy.
My most famous show is the ‘Kitchen Show.’ More famous than any gallery show or museum show I curated.
I don’t think the art market is for everybody. Yeah, of course we have a global gallery. But we’re like the one-tenth of the one-tenth of the one-tenth. OK? Not just who’s buying but who’s really seriously engaged with art.
For me, the gallery legitimates the art production and helps build collections. I don’t think an artist should do everything by himself forever. I did it for years and then slowly built my circle of trust.
It’s easy to be loud, outspoken, and play to the gallery. It’s difficult to underplay one’s self.
There used to be rather serious firewalls between the artist and the buying public – the gallery, the publisher. And technology demolishes that wall and basically says, ‘Self-promote or die.’ And that is a bad head for any sort of artist to be forced into.
I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.
Jean-Michel Basquiat
I’ve always liked writing. Even when I was in art school and thought I was going to be a gallery painter, I liked to pair my artwork with writing. And so that naturally led to drawing comics.
The best place for puffin watching is Sumburgh Head, at the south end of the Shetland mainland. There used to be a lighthouse there, but it’s now a visitor centre and gallery; they run a webcam, so you can check on the puffins in advance.
Ann Cleeves
The gallery is generating work for the masses.
Studying art history is actually one of the few ways of getting a good job in the arts sector. It’s hard to be a museum curator without it, work in any senior position in an auction house or gallery, or become a serious art critic.
Really, my biggest risk was just the initial step to quit my day job to do music. I was packaging and shipping for an art gallery in Manhattan; I went to school for painting, so I always wanted to work around artwork, even though I wasn’t really contributing anything to the scene.
There is more to representing art than selling art. The life of the gallery is dependent on the renewal and refreshment of its artists and dealers. When that stops happening, it’s the end.
I like the idea that things can exist in different formats – in a gallery, a fashion ad, in books.
In the theater, you have to speak so people in the last row of the peanut gallery can hear you. With television, the camera does that work for you.
Merle Dandridge
Works of art often last forever, or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves, especially gallery exhibitions, are like flowers; they bloom and then they die, then exist only as memories, or pressed in magazines and books.
I don’t like books that play to the gallery, but I’ve become more concerned with telling a story as clearly and engagingly as I can.
I like all sorts of art, that’s why I love wandering around The National Gallery.
Whenever I’m in Edinburgh, which I visit often, I always try to hop on a train to Kirkcaldy to visit the art gallery, where my grandfather was convenor for 36 years, to revisit the marvellous paintings from my childhood – as do other family members.
Urs Fischer specializes in making jaws drop. Cutting giant holes in gallery walls, digging a crater in Gavin Brown‘s gallery floor in 2007, creating amazing hyperrealist wallpaper for a group show at Tony Shafrazi: It all percolates with uncanny destructiveness, operatic uncontrollability, and barbaric sculptural power.
I just got to hear every note. After I left Birdland, I started working at the Jazz Gallery. In the end, I still couldn’t play, but I knew how to listen. I was probably the world’s best listener.
Carla Bley
What makes Burning Man special is the location: a 9-mile circle of gypsum, an ancient dried ocean bed. The ground is like a flat crust with no plants or insects, a perfect outdoor gallery for monumental interactive sculpture and architecture.
I went to UCLA and studied studio art. I thought I was going to be a gallery painter, photographer, or ceramicist. Then, when I graduated, that didn’t happen immediately. I didn’t suddenly get solo shows in Chelsea, and I realized that is actually kind of difficult to break into.
At work people are expected to be at the beck and call of employers all the time. You have blackberries and other things, and they just don’t leave you alone. People have less time just to drop into an art gallery.
Jeremy Paxman
The Spiral Gallery may happen, too. It is not dependent on government funding.
My dream since I was a kid was to show in a gallery.
A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world.
I applied to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and didn’t get in the first year, so I worked at Costa and the Dean Gallery Cafe then applied again and got in the next year when I was 18. I was so excited.
There is no reason why the Louvre should be your favourite gallery just because it has the grandest collections in France, any more than Kew should necessarily be a favourite garden because it has the largest assemblage of plants, or Tesco your chosen shop because it has the widest variety of canned beans.
When I get some down time on the weekends, I love gallery hopping with friends, in particular checking out Gagosian Galleries – between the three in N.Y.C., there’s always a great show on or something cool to see.
Jessica Hart
I respect Virgin Atlantic‘s brave and challenging attitude and the way it goes against the grain, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the first ever Gallery in the Air.
I’m privileged to have had some success, but I’ve never forgotten what it was like to queue for a half-crown gallery seat for ‘Oliver!’ which is why I ensure that there are £20 day tickets for ‘Miss Saigon’ and that the balconies in my theatres are as comfortable as I can possibly make them.
Being a good Hans Haacke student, part of his influence on me is that there’s no difference between a gallery show and a film – or even an ad and a T-shirt-in terms of cultural legitimacy. They’re just different contexts in which to have some sort of communication.
The appeal all too often is to the gallery, hungry for sensation.
Otto Hermann Kahn
One of the strengths of the DC Universe has been the strength of the rogues’ gallery. Often times they’re as famous – if not more infamous – than our heroes.
I visit a lot of art galleries. I live in Dublin and there’s a very good gallery called the Kevin Kavanagh gallery.
In a gallery, there’s an expectation of high prices and a somewhat elitist atmosphere.
Will Cotton
I’ve always had this dream of doing an art gallery thing, and it was just finally, ‘All right, let’s do it.’
I’m noticing a new approach to art making in recent museum and gallery shows. It flickered into focus at the New Museum’s ‘Younger Than Jesuslast year and ran through the Whitney Biennial, and I’m seeing it blossom and bear fruit at ‘Greater New York,’ MoMA P.S. 1’s twice-a-decade extravaganza of emerging local talent.
The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.
I find old copies of National Gallery catalogues, which are written in the dryest possible prose, infinitely soothing.
Howard Hodgkin
I created a successful outdoor youth festival – the Liverd festival – against all good advice. It was a great way to explore and investigate social sculptures. Having that as my kind of studio, outside of a museum or precious white-cube gallery, that was a kind of education.
Natalie Jeremijenko
Every government secretary of state or minister should jolly well go to the theatre, go to a concert, go to an art gallery, go to a museum, become somehow interested in these things. If they’re not interested, they shouldn’t be in government, full stop.
The nice thing about the gallery shows is that without having to pay any money you can just go and see it.
Appropriation is the idea that ate the art world. Go to any Chelsea gallery or international biennial and you’ll find it. It’s there in paintings of photographs, photographs of advertising, sculpture with ready-made objects, videos using already-existing film.
The type of work I do, which is often called ‘Pop Surrealism,’ is very separate from Gagosian and Mary Boone type of gallery art.
People see owning a gallery as a way to get rich. I never thought that I could get rich in the art world. I wanted a life in art. I wanted to live with artists. I wanted to make beautiful shows.
I have no favorite museum, but it could be the National Gallery in London; it could be the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Every city has a great museum.
It shouldn’t be that people think the National Gallery is just for middle-class white people.
You never see what you want to see, forever playing to the gallery.
A suit is just a suit: a practical garment, not a ceremonial robe; it can be worn out to dinner with friends or for a visit to an art gallery. Its beauty and craftsmanship are utterly wasted if you think of it as something magical and symbolic.
I once saw an elaborate landscape in a gallery, drawn in pencil, that took my breath away. Then I realized the artist probably didn’t have enough confidence to use a pen.
My mother was willing to support art as a summer program for me. She never supported it as a career decision until I won the National Gallery Portrait Competition.
At 18 I began painting steadily fulltime and at age 20 had my first New York show at the Macbeth Gallery.
Andrew Wyeth
I have a suspicion that a lot of artists are trying to get a laugh but, unlike stand-ups, they don’t get an immediate response from their audience; a laugh is a rare thing in a gallery.
When I was growing up, there was a feeling in one’s living room as much as in one’s local gallery that a little elitism was good for the soul.
The Upper Bohemia people wore tuxedos in an art gallery, and Lower Bohemia was all of us.
Public art is a unique type of art. It’s very different to gallery art because it is something that we pass by every day and it inevitably creates a lot of discussion in a way that gallery art does not.
I grew up with the great Sir Laurence Olivier, and I think it’s fair to say that a lot of actors of my age were influenced by his very individual vocal delivery. He was a showman who would always play to the gallery.
Ian Holm
My father was a self-employed textile agent, and the shop below his office was an art gallery.
I had a conversation with a biologist in an art gallery, and he persuaded me that it was possible to grow a dress from microbes. It was the craziest thing I had ever heard, but I’m a bit of a science fiction fan and I thought it sounded like an interesting challenge.
Suzanne Lee
Only once in the last thirty years have I made a duplicate, and that was a watercolor from my oil picture now owned by the Layton Art Gallery, Milwaukee, called ‘Hark! the Lark.’
Winslow Homer
It’s not that I can’t find art beautiful. I just don’t know what to do, standing there in the gallery. I don’t know what to think about. Once I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it; that takes about two seconds. I am interested and then immediately bored, immediately.
Courtesy is a silver lining around the dark clouds of civilization; it is the best part of refinement and in many ways, an art of heroic beauty in the vast gallery of man‘s cruelty and baseness.
Mick has expressed an interest in coming to the gallery tonight because he’s seen me behaving myself lately. He is being much more supportive, which is nice.
The sun never sets on my gallery.
I have played some wonderful leading roles on stage and had the whole ‘China Beach‘ years where I really played a leading man on that. That was a fun change for a character actor. But I’m perfectly happy going back to building my gallery of memorable character roles.
I’m someone who’s experienced impostor syndrome – as I think a lot of people have with their careers, especially when they pursue what they’re passionate about, because they want to be good at it. I’ve experienced that as a gay man; I’ve experienced that as a cook, as a gallery director, as a student of psychology.
I didn’t want to be an actress. I wasn’t trying to be in film or an art gallery for me.
Yasmine Al Masri
Auction houses run a rigged game. They know exactly how many people will be bidding on a work and exactly who they are. In a gallery, works of art need only one person who wants to pay for them.
I want people to come to me open and vulnerable. When they come to the gallery, they have to leave their watches, their computers, their Blackberrys, iPads, iPhones, because we are so incredibly used to technology, and I wanted to remove that.
Movies are not an art form where you get to kind of sit in your art gallery and paint, you know? You don’t do that. You’re spending a lot of somebody else‘s money.
The New York gallery scene being as incredibly overpopulated and overmoneyed as it is, deep conflicts and contradictions aren’t hard to find.
I’ve noticed a lot of younger artists have less fear of doing different sorts of things, whether it’s various types of music, or gallery artists moving between video and sculpture and drawing.
My mother fed my love of demons, science fiction, and paranormal. She was a devout horror movie fan who kept me up until the wee hours to watch ‘Outer Limits,’ ‘Night Gallery,’ ‘Twilight Zone,’ and ‘Star Trek.’ We lived to watch those reruns.
Sherrilyn Kenyon
When I was 13 years old, I went to visit my aunt and uncle in Washington, D.C., and they just deposited me at the National Gallery. I would go from Rembrandt to Picasso – I remember that experience so vividly.
I think I grew up in an ‘acultural’ household – no books, no paintings, never went to an art gallery. I say that, but of course we had the TV.
When I go to an art gallery and stand in front of a painting, I don’t want someone telling me what I should be seeing or thinking; I want to feel whatever I feel, see whatever I see, and figure out what I figure out.
When some people were going around being surf bums and tennis bums, I was being a gallery bum. I really liked galleries.
Well, I’d say that the beginning of this thing came through with Art of This Century, Peggy Guggenheim’s, where she opened this gallery and began showing some things that caused a little talk, amongst a lot of other things.
Lee Krasner
As artists we need to stop making work only for gallery or museum walls, or the coffee tables of collectors.
I like the idea that you can paint something outdoors, and anyone can see it. It’s open to anyone, and people have to deal with it. In the gallery, it’s the same 150 people on the San Francisco art scene. There’s a dynamic on the street that’s definitely more interesting.
They give us courage, but you can’t play for the gallery, you have to play for your team-mates.