Enter the world of Andrew Wyeth
By J. Chambless
The cover image for a new catalogue that examines Wyeth's entire career in context.
To mark the 100th anniversary of Andrew
Wyeth’s birth, the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Seattle
Art Museum have organized an exhibition of more than 100 of his
finest paintings and works on paper selected from major museums and
private collections. The exhibition will be on view from June 24
through Sept. 17, before traveling to the Seattle Art Museum in
Co-curated by Audrey Lewis (curator, Brandywine River Museum of Art) and Patricia Junker (the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum), “Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect” will be the first career retrospective of the artist since his death in 2009. This exhibition will explore how the artist’s work evolved over the decades and will connect him more fully to traditions in American and European art. His career arc will also be explored, noting the critical responses to his work, as well as his immense public success. New interpretations will be offered on the significance of outside influences on his work, such as film and war, and on the subjects and themes that occupied him throughout his career.
“In Retrospect” will bring together both well-known and rarely seen works created between the mid-1930s and Wyeth’s death in 2009 that reveal the subjects that continually inspired Wyeth and the evolution of his imagery. The show spans early watercolors that established his reputation to his final painting, “Goodbye,” completed a few months before his death. The exhibition also will include many of Wyeth’s studies, which were rarely exhibited in the artist’s lifetime.
Organized chronologically, the exhibition will examine Wyeth’s unrelenting realism in the context of the twentieth century, looking at how outside forces shaped the artist’s choice of subjects and his approach to portraying the people, places and things that reflect the internal musings of a complicated man.
As the exhibition will reveal, Wyeth continually pared down his subject matter, distilling the essence of character – real and imagined – hidden beneath the surface of his subjects.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Yale University Press. The catalogue will offer significant firsts in Wyeth studies: it will lay out the first detailed timeline of Wyeth’s full career; it will present the first contextual examination of the career decade by decade; and it will offer new, in-depth analysis of key aspects of his work by both young and established Wyeth scholars from the U.S. and Japan. The catalogue is intended to be a foundation for subsequent Wyeth studies.
Visitors can also tour the Andrew Wyeth Studio, the N.C. Wyeth Home and Studio, and Kuerner Farm, where Andrew Wyeth painted some of his landmark works.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Chadds Ford. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older, $6 for students and children 6 and older; free for children 5 and younger and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art members. For more information, call 610-388-2700 or visit www.brandywinemuseum.org.