Andreas Gursky
[Photographer, b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf.]

 In retrospect I can see that my desire to create abstractions has become more and more radical. Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what’s behind something. 

Robert Irwin
[Artist, b. 1928, Long Beach, California, lives in San Diego, California.]

 No artist worth their salt has ever made their work really abstract. All wanted to make it as real as possible. So the question is what do we mean by reality? 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 The spring-tight line between reality and photography has been stretched relentlessly, but it has not been broken. These abstractions... have not left the world of appearances; for to do so is to break the camera’s strongest point—its authenticity. 

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 I shall let no chance pass to record interesting abstractions, but I feel definite in my belief that the approach to photography is through realism—and its most difficult approach. (1924) 

Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 The question is: Can I make a photograph that is truly abstract, or must photographs always be representational as reality is there at their core?  

Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 I never take a picture of a face because a face is somebody, an arm is not recognizable as somebody. When you take a photograph of someone’s face, it identifies it as somebody, but if you take just a fragment, it’s everybody. It’s not one person. 

David Maisel
[Photographer, b. 1961, New York, lives in San Francisco.]

 …pictures aren’t facts. There’s nothing factual about them. They’re mental space. That’s what abstraction is about, making a kind of psychological space. 

Uta Barth
[Photographer, b. 1958, Berlin, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about. 
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