5 January 1988
Art is the pure realization of religious feeling, capacity for faith, longing for God.
All other realizations of these, the outstanding human qualities, abuse those qualities by exploiting them: that is, by serving an ideology. Even art becomes ‘applied art’ just as soon as it gives up its freedom from function and sets out to convey a message. Art is human only in the absolute refusal to make a statement.
The ability to believe is our outstanding quality, and only art adequately translates it into reality. But when we assuage our need for faith with an ideology, we court disaster
The Daily Practice of Painting – Gerhard Richter