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Andrew Wyeth Memory & Magicby Anne Classen Knutson
Synopses & Reviews
Prior to the 1960s, Andrew Wyeth enjoyed a stellar reputation as a rising star in the art world. Since then, critics and scholars have largely ignored him. Wyeth, however, who is age 88 at the date of publication, has continued to paint, to the delight of his admirers, collectors, and the art-loving public. Now, in association with the High Museum exhibition, Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic takes a fresh look at the work of one of America's most beloved artists.In examining his entire oeuvre, the book celebrates the artist's ongoing love affair with everyday life-domestic, natural, and architectural. Found throughout Wyeth's work, these objects form patterns that illuminate core themes and reveal the artist wrestling with issues of memory, temporality, embodiment, and the metaphysical. Organized chronologically and thematically, the book explores how the artist's approach to these subjects was formed in his early career, and has been revisited in new and surprising ways in recent years.Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic comprises 150 tempera paintings and 50 drawings and watercolors-including his most-famous works, but also many published here for the first time.
"In this post-post-modern era — when no single artistic movement can pretend to claim dominance, and the 'shock of the new' has pretty much worn off — the American realist tradition is starting to look better and better, and no living artist encapsulates that tradition more definitively than Andrew Wyeth. With the overhyped (Time and Newsweek covers!) late '70s controversy over the Helga paintings pretty much forgotten, now is a good time for the kind of serious reassessment facilitated by this lavish retrospective. Its different essays — of uniformly high quality — emphasize various aspects of Wyeth's oeuvre. Taylor explores the early work's surprising connections to surrealism, for example, while Knutson's movingly personal essay investigates the artist's lesser-known depictions of everyday objects, and Crosman outlines the pivotal role of the artist's wife, Betsy. Together, the essays place Wyeth within a number of overlapping contexts while honoring the singular path that this American master walks. (Entering his 90s, Wyeth is still very much a going concern and the book reproduces a number of his recent paintings.) The illustrations, which include works by artists who have influenced Wyeth, advance these arguments while making for a gorgeous book." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Wyeth's use of domestic, natural, and architectural objects in his paintings was the theme of the exhibition for which this volume was prepared; the 2005-2006 exhibition was organized by The High Museum of Art (Atlanta) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The essays discuss his early work and the line he toed between realism and surrealism, his "language of things," meaning and medium in his art (in particular, his painting "Groundhog Day," and the role of his wife Betsy in his work. The volume (10x11.5<">) contains 180 color and 20 halftone illustrations showcasing Wyeth's finished works and studies.
Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In association with the High Museum exhibition, this volume takes a fresh look at the work of one of America's most beloved artists. The book celebrates the artist's ongoing love affair with everyday life--domestic, natural, and architectural. Includes 150 tempera paintings and 50 drawings and watercolors.
About the Author
Anne Knutson is guest curator for the exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic. Kathleen A. Foster is the Robert L. McNeill, Jr. Curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Michael R. Taylor is Associate Curator and Acting Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Christopher Crosman is Director of the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum in Rockland, Maine.John Wilmerding is the Christopher B. Sarofim Professor of American Art at Princeton University.
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