The Wyeth exhibit at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art was so worth it! Almost 100 beautiful works of art by 5 different Wyeths, America's most famous family of painters. Hurry, this show ends April 17.
Andrew Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's World"
You can see the original at NY Museum of Modern Art
Most of the exhibit shows work by N.C. Wyeth and his son, Andrew Wyeth, the shining star of the family. There are several early works by Andrew that demonstrate how his style developed. Trained by his father, he brings realism to life with exceptional detail. His work shows more than a picture of reality because he tells a story from a specific moment in time. Every detail seems to have special meaning for Andrew and the complexity of his style contradicts the simplicity of his subjects. “ If I can get beyond the subject to the object , then it has a deeper meaning......I can never get close enough to an object or inside of it enough.”
N.C. Wyeth became famous for his illustrations and is known for his work on “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped” by R.L.Stevenson. It was his popularity as an illustrator that brought notoriety to his family. Because of his success as an illustrator he was never able to establish himself as a studio artist. However, several memorable seascapes and landscapes from his New England surroundings endure.
His daughter Henriette is skilled in the tenets of realism and 2 oil paintings in the Kalamazoo exhibit show her ability. I was surprised and impressed by “Blue Cineraria”, a still life with flowers. The other is a life-like image of a man called “Portrait of Chookie”.
Jamie Wyeth is Andrew’s son and is a prolific artist with several paintings that show the progression of his painting career. It is obvious that he too carries on the family tradition of realism. He studied under his Aunt Carolyn whose compositions are creative but outside the ultra-realistic Wyeth style. He is known for his sensitive style and was sought after as a portrait artist.
My personal favorite, "Wind From the Sea" by Andrew Wyeth