These images are painted with care, often in tempera, sometimes in watercolor. The attention to detail and the focus on craft evokes some of the great masters of old. Long Limb, tempera on panel. And yet, people have objected.
To this reviewer, Wyeth is an important figure in art not so much for what he does with the aesthetics of art, as for the attitude, the conception of the artist, he brings to painting. Wyeth has remained visually and emotionally attached to the real world, a world all but forgotten by his contemporaries and the 20th Century.
The importance of this cannot be over-estimated. In this way, Wyeth has served as a link with the great tradition of artists responsive to life and humanity that was essentially severed following the Post-Impressionists, and which is now in the early stages of resumption. Wyeth reacts to and expresses the character of the people whose lives he has passed through and shared.
He searches out the pose, the look in the eye, the set of the mouth, the significant facial wrinkle, the sweater out at the elbow, the signals a dress gives when it has been worn a thousand times, retaining the form and postures of the wearer.
He sees significance in the simplest objects, implements, animals and landscapes of a rural life.
For these reasons, I have always been a Wyeth admirer. I never thought of him as simply another illustrator, like Norman Rockwell, for example. Though previously recognizing weaknesses in his work, I was still surprised at my reaction to the Wyeth exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through February 6.
Entitled the "Two worlds of Andrew Wyeth: Kuerners and Olsons," it contains sketches, drawings, watercolors and temperas of the people, Andrew wyeth essay, objects and landscape of the Olson and Kuerner farms in Maine and Pennsylvania respectively.
There are some problems with this exhibit. The lack of true form in much of the work is very disturbing. For example, the well-known portrait of Karl Kuerner,with the hooks in the ceiling, is not solid, for all of its expressive impact and intense observation.
Kuerner is like a stuffed man, rather than a living being. A more recent example is "Pine Baron," a tempera of a German helmet filled with pine cones in front of a receding row of pine trees. Both works are brilliant in technique, as nearly all Wyeth works are, but they point out the difference between an illustrator no matter how good and the artist of the highest level.
Namely, these pictures are generally the illustration of surface detail rather than the fine art creation of bedrock, actual form.
An exception to this assessment, and the best tempera in the exhibition in terms of significance of form, color, drawing and character of the sitter, is "Miss Olson," compare it to the very weak, illustrational portrait of an indian, "Nogeeshik".
Christina Olson holds a kitten on her chest, apparently either dozing or contemplating it with heavy weariness. The form of the head, body and dress is thoroughly convincing, and somehow the dryness of the medium, which also tends to destroy form in other pictures, is overcome here.
Another version of Christina Olson, "Anna Christina,"depicting her sitting against a foggy background, is a marvelous character study emphasizing a prominent, hooked nose, eyes that pull against each other as one looks toward the viewer, a jutting lower lip and weathered cheek.
It is again the extraordinarily talented illustration of a head, rather than the three-dimensional re-creation of a head in the sense of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Cezanne, etc. The color in the works at the Metropolitan, particularly in the watercolors, is also problematic.
While incredibly sensitive to textures, Wyeth seems nearly color-blind, working almost exclusively in changes of value A series of nearly a dozen views of the Kuerner farm in the snow are extremely repetitive in the use of raw umber and yellow ochre to depict buildings and leafless trees, and the nearly untouched white of the paper, the snow.
Perhaps this suggests that Wyeth is not so much the realist many believe him to be, working as he does within his personal conception of the world. Finally, for this viewer, the question of whether the watercolor or dry-brush is executed on rough or smooth paper is of importance.
The smoother paper produces more homogeneous, fluidly unified, atmospheric works. The rough paper gives a scratchy, unsatisfying appearance to the watercolors.
The freely-brushed wash-drawings and slashing pencil studies for "Brown Swiss," the Kuerner barn, pond and winter fieldsseemed curiously without passion. A more meticulous study 40 for the same painting smacked more of architectural rendering than drawing.
In the finished painting technically and compositionally dazzlingthe limited color and exasperatingly precise drawing seemed more narrowly restrictive than accurate. But in spite of whatever aesthetic weaknesses Wyeth may have particularly when assessing him within the context of the watered-down aesthetic and expressive condition of most art todayit seems to me that we must value a man who has the feeling for people and nature that Wyeth has.
He knows them, helps them, paints them in their homes, lives with them, leaves his paintings in rooms in their homes, turning them into studios.A Closer Look at Christina’s World. Posted by Hannah Kim, Marketing and Book Development Coordinator, Department of Publications Andrew Wyeth.
Christina’s World. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
For more of Hoptman’s essay, download a preview of Wyeth: Christina’s World from our website. Tags. The Andrew Wyeth: Autobiography lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles.
Inside you'll find 30 Daily Lessons, 20 Fun Activities, Multiple Choice Questions, 60 Short Essay Questions, 20 Essay Questions, Quizzes/Homework Assignments, Tests, and more. Andrew Wyeth Essay Andrew Wyeth – Visual Arts Realism in visual arts is a style that depicts the actuality of what the eyes can see.
The Realist artist that I have selected on the basis of my future scope of work is Andrew Wyeth. William Douglas Hamilton was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland on May 24, He immigrated to the United States with his parents and two siblings six years later, and the family settled on a acre farm near Newark in Licking County, Ohio.
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