Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospectby Matthew Innis |
To mark the 100th anniversary of Andrew Wyeth’s birth, the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum will organize an exhibition of over one hundred of his finest paintings and works on papers selected from major museums and private collections.
Co-curated by Audrey Lewis (Curator, Brandywine River Museum of Art) and Patricia Junker (the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum), Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect will be the first in-depth chronological examination of Wyeth’s career since 1973. This exhibition will explore how the artist’s work evolved over the decades and will connect him more fully to traditions in American and European art. His career arc will also be explored, noting the critical responses to his work, as well as his immense public success. New interpretations will be offered on the significance of outside influences on his work, such as film and war, and on the subjects and themes that occupied him throughout his career.
Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect will bring together both well-known and rarely seen works created between the mid-1930s and Wyeth’s death in 2009 that reveal the subjects that continually inspired Wyeth and the evolution of his imagery. Organized chronologically, the exhibition will examine Wyeth’s unrelenting realism in the context of the twentieth century, looking at how outside forces shaped the artist’s choice of subjects and his approach to portraying the people, places and things that reflect the internal musings of a complicated man. As the exhibition will reveal, Wyeth continually pared down his subject matter, iteratively distilling the essence of character—real and imagined—hidden beneath the surface of his subjects. This exhibition, which will open at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in June 2017, followed by its presentation at the Seattle Art Museum beginning in October 2017, will introduce Wyeth to new audiences as well as allow those familiar with his work to revisit his contributions to twentieth-century American art.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, which will be published by Yale University Press. The catalogue will offer significant firsts in Wyeth studies: it will lay out the first detailed timeline of Wyeth’s full career; it will present the first contextual examination of the career decade by decade; and it will offer new, in-depth analysis of key aspects of his work by both young and established Wyeth scholars from the U.S. and Japan. The catalogue is intended to be a foundation for subsequent Wyeth studies.