Artist Bio

Back to Artist Listings

Wyeth, Andrew

A painter of landscape and figure subjects in Pennsylvania and Maine, Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) became one of the best-known American painters of the 20th century. His style is both realistic and abstract, and he works primarily in tempera and watercolor, often using the drybrush technique. He is the son of Newell Convers and Carolyn Bockius Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and was home-schooled because of delicate health. His art instruction came from his famous-illustrator father, who preached the tying of painting to life--to mood and to essences and to capturing the subtleties of changing light and shadows. Andrew Wyeth maintained a style strongly oriented towards Realism when Abstract Expressionism was all-prevalent. Adhering to his own path, he was snubbed by many prominent art critics. However, his paintings have elements of abstraction in that the work derives from his strong feelings about his subjects, which often appear in unusual positions, juxtapositions, and with features highlighted for emotional effect. His work usually suggests rural quiet, isolation, and somber mood and is devoid of modern-day objects such as automobiles. Christina Olson of Cushing Maine, at the end of Hathorn Point, was one of Wyeth’s most famous models. The Olson House, where Christina and her brother lived, is now owned and maintained by the Farnsworth Museum, where Wyeth had his first major exhibition in 1951 and where the Andrew Wyeth Gallery is now a permanent exhibition place for his paintings. Wyeth has received many official honors. In 1963, he was the subject of a cover story for Time magazine and, thanks to President John F. Kennedy, he became the first visual artist to be nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1990, Wyeth received the Congressional Gold Medal, the first artist to have that honor.

Title: The Barnacles
Medium: Watercolor; SLR 17" x 21"