Painting for me is like a fabric, all of a piece and uniform, with one set of threads as the representational, esthetic element, and the cross-threads as the technical, architectural, or abstract element. These threads are interdependent and complementary, and if one set is lacking the fabric does not exist. A picture with no representational purpose is to my mind always an incomplete technical exercise, for the only purpose of any picture is to achieve representation.
I do not believe that there was ever a question of being abstract or representational. It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude, of breathing, and stretching one’s arms again transcendental experiences became possible.mark rothko
The kind of painting which I find exciting is not necessarily representational or non-representational, but it is musical and architectural... Whether this visual relationship is slightly more or slightly less abstract is, for me, beside the point.
The representational nature of maps, however, is often ignored – what we see when looking at a map is not the word, but an abstract representation that we find convenient to use in place of the world. When we build these abstract representations we are not revealing knowledge as much as are creating it.
The general misunderstanding of a work of art is often due to the fact that the key to its spiritual content and technical means is missed. Unless the observer is trained to a certain degree in the artistic idiom, he is apt to search for things which have little to do with the aesthetic content of a picture. He is likely to look for pure representational values when the emphasis is really upon music-like relationships.hans hofmann