Category Archives: Garson Kanin

When Painters Get Together They Talk About Where You Can Buy the Best Turpentine

Pablo Picasso? Jean Renoir? Garson Kanin? Apocryphal?

turpentine14Dear Quote Investigator: Critics discuss abstruse theories of creativity and engage in esoteric scrutiny of aesthetics while artists are primarily concerned with the practical. Admittedly, this is an oversimplification. Here is a statement that makes a similar point:

When art critics get together they talk about form and structure and meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.

Did Picasso really say this?

Quote Investigator: The earliest evidence of a comparable expression located by QI appeared in a 1966 book by the screenwriter and director Garson Kanin who ascribed the words to Picasso: 1

Picasso says that when art critics get together they talk about content, style, trend and meaning, but that when painters get together they talk about where can you get the best turpentine.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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  1. 1966, Remembering Mr. Maugham by Garson Kanin, Quote Page 45, Atheneum, New York. (Verified on paper)