Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Art of Andrew Wyeth

The Museum of Modern Art announced it will loan the iconic Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World, to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where a memorial for Wyeth will be held on January 31. Wyeth, described as "one of the most popular and also most lambasted artists in the history of American art" in a NY Times obituary (the Brandywine website says he's "often referred to as America’s most famous artist"), died last week at age 91 in his Chadds Ford home. Here's the MoMA's description of Christina's World: The woman crawling through the tawny grass was the artist's neighbor in Maine, who, crippled by polio, "was limited physically but by no means spiritually." Wyeth further explained, "The challenge to me was to do justice to her extraordinary conquest of a life which most people would consider hopeless." He recorded the arid landscape, rural house, and shacks with great detail, painting minute blades of grass, individual strands of hair, and nuances of light and shadow. In this style of painting, known as magic realism, everyday scenes are imbued with poetic mystery. The Times also has an interesting article about the debate over Wyeth's work and status as an American painter. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts museum director David Brigham told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Andrew Wyeth captured a sense of the American dream and, when we look closely at his art, our longings and anxieties, too. He was one of the great chroniclers of everyday life in rural America, and one of the great interpreters of the American experience in the mid to late 20th century." (For full source and full article click the Headline). Irish Art