It has been announced that the American painter Andrew Wyeth, one of the great painters of the 20th Century, died yesterday 16 January 2009.
Andrew Wyeth – Christina’s World (1948)
This painting of Christina Olson, who was unable to walk, yearning for her home, is probably his most famous and was certainly the first painting of Wyeth’s that I came across. His paintings, often in subdued earth colours, usually depict the vastness of the American landscape, particularly showing his neighbours and the rural community which Wyeth knew well. The works to have a desolate quality that well reflects the hardness of life experienced in much of the USA during the depression and the post-war period.
Andrew Wyeth – Wind from the Sea (1943)
I particularly like this window scene in muted, almost monochromatic, tones, painted in tempura and I especially like Wyeth’s treatment of the delicately painted wind blown curtains.
Andrew Wyeth – The Carry (2003)
This much later Wyeth painting shows that his skill in painting water has the same delicate transparency as his depiction of the net curtains some sixty years earlier. This picture is of a ‘Carry’, a place where boats had to be lifted from the water to pass an obstacle. Wyeth is quoted has having said:
“I’m not talking about subject matter but a very American quality – an indigenous thing you’re born with.”
Throughout his career his ability to depict the vastness and beauty of the quiet corners of rural America was obvious, whatever the subject.