The “power of expression ” of the primitive was much deeper and more vital than the “beauty of expression” of classical forms.
To be an artist is to believe in life.
The observation of nature is part of an artist’s life, it enlarges his form [and] knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration.
In my opinion, everything, every shape, every bit of natural form, animals, people, pebbles, shells, anything you like are all things that can help you to make a sculpture.
I want to be quite free of having to find a ‘reason’ for doing the Reclining Figures, and free still of having to find a ‘meaning’ for them. The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows to try out all kinds of formal ideas – things that he doesn’t yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his ‘Bathers’ series. In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort. The subject-matter is given. It’s settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you’ve done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea.