October 16, 2013

The most overrated and underrated: Andrew Wyeth

Above the Narrows - Andrew Wyeth (1960)

Andrew Wyeth was a contemporary American realist painter. Even though Wikipedia calls him one of the best known artists of the 20th century, I first heard about him last month. I was at the National Gallery in D.C. and saw this painting:

Wind from the Sea - Andrew Wyeth (1947) 

I was blown away (the reproduction doesn't do it justice, it's much, much more impressive live). As always, I researched more about him when I got home (a month later).

His works have this constant melancholic mood, but are also very beautiful and evocative. Some are even painfully sad and bleak.

Adrift - Andrew Wyeth

To my surprise, many critics dismissed his work as corny Americana. Funny enough, when asked to choose the most overrated and underrated artists of the 20th century, art historian Robert Rosenblum said Andrew Wyeth was both.

Luckily, many critics like Paul Johnson are admirers of his work. His work even inspired the look of M. Night Shyamalan's movie The Village. The house were Joaquin Phoenix's character lives was based on the one in Wyeth's painting Open Shed.


Plus, doesn't Bryce Dallas Howard's character wear a yellow coat like this? (And there was all that talk about the "bad color" and so on. It's been a while since I last watched this movie!)

Squall - Andrew Wyeth (1986)

Anyway, it's great to know that an artist I just discovered and loved is being rightly admired.

What do you think of Andrew Wyeth's work?

All images from WikiPaintings (except # 4) 

8 comments:

  1. I love the movement in Wind from the Sea.

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    1. The details on the lace curtain is very, very beautiful. I imagine that to convey movement on a transparent fabric requires great talent.

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  2. I adore his work, the first three paintings you feature are gorgeous.

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    1. They really are amazing. He's a great artist and I'm glad I'm discovering more of his work.

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  3. We're actually about to open an exhibition of his beautiful Tempera works here at the Farnsworth, in Rockland, Maine, on November 2.
    Pretty certain that the third painting on your list is actually called "Adrift".

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    1. I wish I could make it to that exhibit. Thanks for the correction. Wikipaintings is usually pretty accurate so I checked, but most sources call it Adrift (which is a much better title btw)

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  4. you can almost feel his pain through same of the paintings!!

    xxo

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    1. Exactly, they are very melancholic, that's probably why I like them so much! xx

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