Andrew Wyeth in Chadds Ford, Pa. 1997
"Christina's World", Egg tempera, 1946
"Trodden Weed", Tempera on panel, 1951
"Winter", Tempera on board, 1946
Literally and metaphorically, it is a cold day in America today. In Atlanta, for example, it is 0 degrees with the wind chill, and in Chicago it is actually 1 degree, but feels like -13. Brrrrrrr.
Today is also a cold day in the art world. Renowned American artist, Andrew Wyeth, died last night in his sleep at the age of 91. The cause of death remains unknown (see his obituary in the New York Times here). Regardless of the often negative criticism he received from numerous art critics, Wyeth remained focused on painting his signature painstaking realism at a time when the Abstract Expressionists were quickly gaining acclaim, in the mid-20th century. Wyeth's portrayals of rural landscapes and sentimental subjects have been and will continue to be revered by a national and international audience.
I was fortunate enough to tour the exhibit of Andrew Wyeth's retrospective at Atlanta's High Museum of Art in 2006. The exhibition, Memory and Magic, included approximately 100 tempera paintings, watercolors and drawings, many from the personal collection of Andrew and Betsy Wyeth. It was truly a treat and provided me with a deeper appreciation for representational art, specifically egg tempera painting. Wyeth will forever be remembered as one of America's most recognized and beloved artists, whose work is as emotionally compelling as it is beautiful.