“I was happiest when I couldn’t sell my paintings. Apart from a few friends only I liked them. I loved them like a mother loves her unfortunate children." Henri Matisse (1946) 

“I don’t care about the word art because it has been so discredited. I want to get rid of it in the way many people today have done away with religion." Marcel Duchamp, Late Night Line-Up (1968) 

“Who made art history? Not the most reasonable people. The mad men did. If painting is the mirror of a time, it must be mad to have a true image of what that time is. To one madness we oppose another madness.” Max Ernst, Monitor (1961) 

“There is no progress in art. Just as there is no progress in the manner of making love. There are only different ways of doing it... When they ask me “Do you like the old masters?”, I say I think they’re wonderful. Ask the old masters what they think of my things, it might be more interesting to hear their opinion.” Man Ray, BBC interview, (1973) 

“People call them matchstick figures. They may be. I don’t mind. If they like to call them matchstick figures, well, let them go and do it. They’re probably quite right. But it doesn’t concern me. All I do is to paint figures as I seem them.” LS Lowry (1957) 

“If there is mystery in my work, it is a matter of the unknowable… I believe the world is a mystery, and that mystery cannot be spoken of in words. We are all a mystery, we are part of the world which is itself a mystery.” René Magritte, Monitor (1965) 

“Salvador Dalí is very rich, and I love treeemendously money and gold. Dalí sleeps best after the day he receives a treeemendous quantity of cheques.” Dalí (1970) 

“What I was trying to show was my reaction to this dramatic suspense. The situation that you get of a tension between people, and something about an impending disaster. There’s a drama in silence more than in shouting.” Henry Moore on the bomb shelter drawings that made him a household name (1978) 

“I feel at home here in this chaos. Chaos suggests images to me. I just love living in chaos because, after all what is art about? It is trying to make something out of the chaos of existence.” Francis Bacon, in his studio (1987) 

“I continue to get further away from the usual artists’ tools; easel, palette, brushes. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint. My feeling is new needs need new techniques. It seems to me the modern painter cannot express this age – the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio – in the old forms of the Renaissance or any other past culture.” Jackson Pollock on his drip paintings (1950) 

“This is The Love Wall. It’s like a love shop really. All the postcards are in the windows. When I did this picture, people said, 'Why do you stick the things on, why don’t you paint them?'. And when I do paint them, they say, 'Why did you bother to paint them, why didn’t you stick them on.' You just can’t win." Peter Blake, Monitor (1972) 

"I’ve never really found [painting] easy. But you don’t want to find it easy. Often you deliberately make things difficult for yourself. I could paint 10 pictures of swimming pools, make it look rather nice. But I don’t want to do that, it would bore me. I don’t mind boring you, but I don’t want to bore myself.” David Hockney (1981) 

“It’s dealing with the images that have come about in the commercial world and using that because there are certain things about it which are impressive or bold… It is not saying that commercial art is terrible, or 'Oh, look what we’ve come to.' That may be a sociological fact, but that’s not what this art is about.” Roy Lichtenstein (1968) 

“I would hope my work would be able to convey the same sense of serene order that, let’s say, a fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach can give… The marks that I’ve made on canvas or paper have never been convincing to me in the same way as moving a timber or brick from one side of the room to the other ” Carl Andre, Arena (1976) 

“I use anger, it is a raw emotion. It is my way of defending myself… In order to liberate myself from the past I have to reconstruct it, ponder about it, make a statue of it and get rid of it through making sculpture.” Louise Bourgeois, Arena (1994) 

"If you are painting humans you’ve got the best subject matter in the world, and you can really do as much with them as they could do themselves. When I’m not painting them –- which is rare – I feel I’m being pretty frivolous.” Lucian Freud (1988) 

"For me pictures are better equivalents to feelings. There are things that you cannot express in words, which you don’t even know what they are, really.” Paula Rego