From Publishers Weekly
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
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. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Anne Knutson is guest curator for the exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Memory & 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.