Art is About Order

Art is about making order out of chaos.
—Stephen Sondheim interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air
What does Sondheim mean by this?
What is the chaos he's referring to?
What kind of order does the artist look for?

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4 thoughts on “Art is About Order”

  1. Well, it’s not the order of something lined up in straight rows.
    A good work of art is like a healthy family- it respects the individuality of its members (the major shapes or parts) but gets them to pull together.

  2. becky nielsen

    I’m not sure what he means by this – unless it’s a different way of saying that art pull things out of chaos to establish some sense (meaning) within it.

  3. Perhaps (I haven’t listened to the clip) he’s referring to chaos within the world, and art (visual, musical, performing, or written) often uses metaphors to show relationships between things thus making order.

  4. This was stashed away in my Instapaper to-read list, and a year later I’m finally getting to it. 🙂 I’m sure I had the same thought then that I do now, but I didn’t have time to say anything about it at the moment.
    Anyway, I think he’s onto something saying that art is creating order from chaos. I can’t help but be reminded of the opening lines of the book of Genesis: where God made the universe he made it from nothing — which some people view as Chaos. He put everything in order. The ultimate creative impulse.

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