Abstract painting seeks to be a pure pictorial language, and thus attempts to escape the essential impurity of all languages: the recourse to signs or forms that have meanings shared by everyone.
A work survives its readers; after a hundred or two hundred years, it is read by new readers who impose on it new modes of reading and interpretation. The work survives because of these interpretations, which are, in fact, resurrections: without them, there would be no work.
Words are things, but things which mean. We cannot do away with meaning without doing away with signs, that is, with language itself. Moreover, we would have to do away with the universe. All the things man touches are impregnated with meaning.
Man, it seems to me, is not in history: he is history.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
An understanding of Sor Juana’s work must include an understanding of the prohibitions her work confronts. Her speech leads us to what cannot be said, what cannot be said to an orthodoxy, the orthodoxy to a tribunal, and the tribunal to a sentence.
If contemporary artists sincerely seek to be original, unique, and new, they should begin by disregarding the notions of originality, individuality, and innovation: they are the cliches of our time.
Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. A constant coming and going: wisdom lies in the momentary.
The presence and the present of America are a future; our continent is, by its nature, the land which does not exist on its own, but as something which is created and invented.
Picasso is what is going to happen and what is happening; he is posterity and archaic time, the distant ancestor and our next-door neighbor. Speed permits him to be two places at once, to belong to all the centuries without letting go of the here and now.