Andrew Wyeth is one of America’s most esteemed, and least understood, artists.
Last year, as part of the American Masters Series, PBS released an inspiring documentary about the life and work of Andrew Wyeth…a look at a man who rarely strayed far from home, and whose paintings have universal appeal and evoke a wide range of emotions. Although Wyeth is considered a Realist, his work has a mysterious and ethereal quality that also places him in the category of Magic Realist. Wyeth’s unusual perspectives and his masterful use of watercolor and tempera has pushed him into the realm of American Master.
Andrew Wyeth: Watercolors
Andrew Wyeth’s famous illustrator father, N.C. Wyeth, was his first, and only teacher. It was the watercolor paintings of Winslow Homer, that Wyeth saw when he visited Homer’s studio as a teenager, that inspired him to master watercolor painting.
“I never wanted to copy the work of other people, but I wanted to find the truth in nature that they were expressing—and then find my own truth.” Wyeth said, “So Homer led me on to something else. I got a direction that was authentic to me and to what I felt.” Wyeth traveled little, and spent most of his life at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. His subjects were the land he walked through and the neighbors he befriended.
Wyeth began painting his Chadds Ford neighbors, Anna and Karl Kuerner, in the 1930s and painted the couple and their home for nearly fifty years. “I didn’t think it a picturesque place.” Wyeth said, of the Kuerner farm, “It just excited me, purely abstractly and purely emotionally.” He was welcomed into his neighbors’ homes and his perspective was often that of a fly-on-the- wall, an observer of small, ordinary moments that Wyeth was able to infuse with empathy and compassion.
His ability to capture darks and lights, especially shadows, gives his work a special, intimate feel, even in his landscape paintings.
Andrew Wyeth: Main Gaff at the Surovek Gallery
Please contact us if you would like more information about Andrew Wyeth’s Main Gaff or any of the other fine works available at the Surovek Gallery.
Susan Strickler. Andrew Wyeth: Early Watercolors (Exhibition Catalogue). Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH, 2004.
Peter Ralston.Andrew Wyeth.The Portal. 2008. www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/wyeth/10443/