Thursday, March 7, 2013

Christina's World

“Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Christina's World” by Andrew Wyeth
Museum of Modern Art
New York, September 2007

“The only narrative artist of genius during the second half of the twentieth century was the Pennsylvanian Andrew Wyeth (b. 1917). His father came from the immensely professional illustrated paper tradition, painting covers for the Saturday Evening Post, like Rockwell. He taught his son himself, probably the best way of learning to paint, as the experience of Holbein, Dürer and countless others artists proves. Wyeth learned from his brother-in-law Peter Hurd how to make effective use of the old fifteenth-century method of egg tempera on a gesso foundation to get extremes of light and clarity, but he also used watercolour with a dry brush and other meticulous techniques. Wyeth was a true reactor to fashion art. He had no fashion. He painted what he saw, after countless preliminary studies and models, and he organised his compositions in ways which made them tell a story. As in Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Calling of Saint Matthew, the viewer is invited to become a co-narrator. Wyeth’s first successful work, Christina's World (1948, MoMA), depicted a crippled girl, seemingly abandoned in a deserted meadow, struggling towards a house on the horizon. It would be hard to think of a more compelling image created in modern times, to which the eye wanders again and again.”
(Paul Johnson, Art: A New History)

2 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Lovely and striking. I like Wyeth.

tapirgal said...

!!! While this painting is riveting and Andrew Wyeth is unique, I was shocked to see N.C. Wyeth virtually dismissed with, "His father came from the immensely professional illustrated paper tradition, painting covers for the Saturday Evening Post, like Rockwell." My god, N.C. made adventure tales and history come alive in his era. I still remember that his cover of "Mutiny on the Bounty" was as captivating as the story. I so wish we still had illustrators of his ilk.