Maine Master

The Farnsworth Art Mu­seum opens two ex­hi­bi­tions of An­drew Wyeth’s work

American Fine Art Magazine - - Event Preview: New York, Ny -

An­drew Wyeth (1917-2009) said,“most artists look for some­thing fresh to paint; frankly I find that quite bor­ing. For me it is much more ex­cit­ing to find fresh mean­ing in some­thing fa­mil­iar.”

In 1920, his fa­ther, N.c.wyeth, bought a home in Port Clyde, Maine, for his fam­ily’s summer va­ca­­drew was 3. Port Clyde and the cen­tral Maine coast gave him the in­spi­ra­tion to paint many icons of Amer­i­can art.

He also said,“one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” His love for the peo­ple of Maine and Chadds Ford, Penn­syl­va­nia, is well known through his paint­ings of the Ol­sons and the Kuern­ers. Less well known by name but known by Wyeth’s paint­ings of him is the Maine fish­er­man Walt An­der­son, his life-long friend.the young, hand­some An­der­son ap­pears in sev­eral early paint­ings. Sea Dog Study, 1971, de­picts an older An­der­son weath­ered by the sun and salt spray and al­most lit­er­ally bro­ken by a nearly fa­tal ac­ci­dent aboard a fish­ing boat. He was 48 when he sat for the paint­ing.

This mov­ing paint­ing will be shown in the exhibition An­drew Wyeth:tem­peras and Stud­ies from the Wyeth Col­lec­tion at the Farnsworth Art Mu­seum in Rock­land, Maine, through Oc­to­ber 21.A com­pan­ion exhibition, An­drew Wyeth in Rock­land, will hang

in the mu­seum’s Wyeth Study Cen­ter through Novem­ber 4. Many of the works in both ex­hi­bi­tions have never been seen by the pub­lic.

Other works in the tem­pera and stud­ies exhibition have re­cently re­turned from the highly ac­claimed trav­el­ing exhibition, An­drew Wyeth: In Ret­ro­spect. Some paint­ings will be paired with their stud­ies to of­fer in­sight into his paint­ing process.

The first An­drew Wyeth paint­ing in the Farnsworth’s col­lec­tion was Her Room, ac­quired in 1964.The mu­seum opened the Wyeth Cen­ter in 2010 in a con­verted church to show­case the paint­ings of three gen­er­a­tions of Wyeths, N.c.,an­drew and Jamie.the cen­ter houses 15 prepara­tory stud­ies for the paint­ing.

The Farnsworth’s Wyeth ex­pe­ri­ence also ex­tends to the Ol­son House, in nearby Cush­ing, now open to the pub­lic. Me­mo­ri­al­ized in count­less paint­ings it is the set­ting for his best-known paint­ing, Christina’s World, now at the Mu­seum of Modern Art in Newyork.

The exhibition at the Wyeth

Cen­ter fea­tures works Wyeth made on “oc­ca­sional paint­ing so­journs to Rock­land be­tween 1939 and 1989,” ac­cord­ing to the mu­seum.“while Rock­land is not a ma­jor theme of Wyeth’s work these paint­ings doc­u­ment Rock­land’s ar­chi­tec­ture and in­dus­trial past. Many of the sites he painted are now rec­og­nized on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.”

Known for his mas­tery of egg tem­pera paint­ing,wyeth also painted in water­color. He said,“i loved the work of Winslow Homer, his wa­ter­col­ors, which I stud­ied in­tensely so I could as­sim­i­late his var­i­ous water­color tech­niques.” He also felt that study­ing the Homer wa­ter­col­ors helped him loosen up his own tech­nique.“with water­color,” he said,“you can pick up the at­mos­phere, the tem­per­a­ture, the sound of snow shift­ing through the trees or over the ice of a small pond or against a win­dow­pane.water­color per­fectly ex­presses the free side of my na­ture.”

Rock­land Light, 1961, is in the exhibition.the light went into ser­vice in 1902 at the end of a long break­wa­ter protecting Rock­land Har­bor. In the paint­ing Wyeth cap­tures the sub­tleties of light and shadow for which he is well known—the sub­tleties of the mun­dane which he re­veals to have ex­tra­or­di­nary beauty.

Wyeth Col­lec­tion. An­drew Wyeth (1917-2009), Rock­land Har­bor, 1954. Water­color on pa­per. Farnsworth Art Mu­seum © An­drew Wyeth/artists Rights So­ci­ety (ARS). On view at An­drew Wyeth in Rock­land.

An­drew Wyeth (1917-2009), Sea Dog Study, 1917. Tem­pera on panel. The An­drew and Betsy Wyeth Col­lec­tion © An­drew Wyeth/artists Rights So­ci­ety (ARS). On view at Tem­peras and Stud­ies from the

Tem­peras and Stud­ies from the Wyeth Col­lec­tion on view in the Farnsworth’s Had­lock Gallery.

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