Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #90

Life is more important than art.

Clement Greenberg used to say this on occasion.

In college I was listening to Glenn Gould play Bach when a brilliant composer friend came into my room to visit and asked me to shut it off.

I was shocked. “Why turn it off? I thought you really liked Gould. It’s great music!”

“I know,” he responded. “I’m just tired of music right now.”

I still remember that. It taught me something that seems stupidly obvious but which I needed to comprehend. Nowadays, though art is my life’s work, I freely admit that occasionally I get sick and tired of it.

Previous: In art there is no absolute good or bad, but it is absolute that there is good and bad.

Next: Good art is not made in the spotlight.

Table of Contents