Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009

I found out this morning that the artist,
Andrew Wyeth had died at the age of 91.
I didn't want to post the painting of the
enigmatic figure of "Christina's World".
I think that image is going to be pervasive
for quite a while, it being the one that
immediately comes to mind when Wyeth is
Instead I chose this painting of a
young man striding across another hill,
perhaps less mysterious, on an ordinary day.
I greatly admired Andrew Wyeth. He was sometimes
referred to as the "Painter of the People".
This is not very good in some circles. Because
the "people" generally like art that is sentimental,
illustrative. I will let the critics who do not appreciate
his work, speak for themselves.
One can readily see that Wyeth's work is a contrast to
the Abstractions of the middle of the 20th Century.
But looking closely at many of the paintings, in addition
to strong currents of emotion, symbolism, and clear beauty,
there is an underlying abstraction at play. Contrasts and
shadows become stark angles, enhancing and sometimes
obscuring the character, mood and spirituality, always part
of the mystery of Wyeth's paintings.
The isolation, the existential moment is similar to the
introversion that I am so drawn to in the work of
Edward Hopper, another artist who portrays the
everyday moment, the resignation of "ordinary" people.
I write of Andrew Wyeth with gratitude for his


Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love Wyeth's work too, and Edward Hopper. I like that elusive feeling in them, which I cannot describe.

One of my beloved art books is 'Awash with Colour - Great American Watercolours from the Muesum of Fine Arts, Boston', which features their work and others that I love.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raph-
That elusive feeling.. freezing the inner life in time.
That's what Wyeth and Hopper did so well, closing in on what remains hidden.
Thanks so much!

A Cuban In London said...

I loved his work. Very encapsulating. A sad loss. Thanks for your post.

Greetings from London.

Anonymous said...

A Cuban...
Thanks for your greetings..sorry to be so slow to respond, cold in NY, my brain froze!


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