John Sloan

American painter (1871–1951)

John French Sloan (August 2, 1871September 7, 1951) was an influential U.S. painter and teacher, and a leading member of a group of American artists known as The Eight. He is commonly associated with the Ashcan School of realist artists.

John Sloan

Quotes of John SloanEdit

  • I have nothing to teach you that will help you to make a living. [as art teacher, advising his students]
    • In: Loughery, John. John Sloan: Painter and Rebel. New York: Henry Holt, 1995. ISBN 0-8050-5221-6, pp. 224-225
  • [on w:Diego Rivera:] ..the one artist on this continent who is in the class of the old masters.
    • In: Brooks, Van Wyck. John Sloan: a Painter's Life. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1955, p. 170

The Gist of Art (1939)Edit

  • People who take things too literally don't get much of anything from my teaching. By never saying anything I mean, I say a great deal. I never mean anything I say under oath. I never mean exactly what I say. Not even this. You have to read between the words.
    • In John Sloan on Drawing and Painting. Mineola NY: Dover Publications, 2000. Originally published in 1939 as The Gist of Art, p. 7.
  • [As a painting teacher] I'm not flirting, playing around. I'm serious about it.. .If you don't want to be serious about playing [at art], do something of no account. Go into banking. Buy collar buttons at five cents a dozen and sell them for five cents a piece.
    • Ibid. p. 8.
  • It takes a great deal of strong personality to survive the art school training. Hard nuts that the art schools can't crack and devour get through and become artists.
    • Ibid., p. 8.
  • The idea of taking up art as a calling, a profession, is a mirage. Art enriches life. It makes life worth living. But to make a living at it—that idea is incompatible with making art.
    • Ibid., p. 26.
  • Then there is this idea that the world owes you a living. Here is a little thought about that. It isn't particularly logical but it makes my point. You were paid when you were born, with the privilege of living. Death is all that is coming to you. Life came to you when you were born.
    • Ibid., p. 27.
  • [choosing his scenes by:] ..night vigils at the back window.
    • The Gist of Art Joan Sloan, New York: Artist Group, 1939, p. 220

Quotes about John SloanEdit

  • John Sloan not having been abroad [in contrary to Hopper himself], has seen these things [Sloan's interpretations in his etchings of New York during the 1910's] with a truer and fresher eye than most.. .The hard early training has given to Sloan a facility and a power of invention that the pure painter seldom achieves.
    • Edward Hopper in: 'Joan Sloan' Hopper, p. 172; as quoted in "Edward Hopper", Gail Levin, Bonfini Press, Switzerland 1984, p. 39
  • In attempting to break new ground in his painting during the 1920's, Hopper found inspiration in Joan Sloan's interpretations of New York.. .He particularly admired the paintings and prints [etchings] produced just after Sloan's arrival in New York from Philadelphia in 1904.. .Among his contemporaries, Hopper seems to have identified most closely with Sloan, who like himself had worked as an illustrator at the beginning of his career.. .More than anything else, Sloan's choice of subject matter made an impression on Hopper during his formative years. Many subjects, and even titles like 'Night Windows' and 'Barber Shop' appeared first in Sloan's work and subsequently in Hopper's. Common themes include a woman in an interior by a window, city rooftops, urban street scenes, and city parks, restaurants and movie theaters.
    • w:Gail Levin, in her art-book "Edward Hopper", Bonfini Press, Switzerland 1984, pp. 39-40

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