©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946) A Murder of Crows, 2003, oil on canvas. Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth Collection
©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946), Voyeur, 2012, combined mediums. Collection of Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth
©Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946),Portrait of Shorty, 1963, oil on canvas. Collection of Andrew and Betsy
on view through April 5, 2015
Featuring more than 100 works, this major retrospective examines six decades of the artist’s career and charts the evolution of his creative process from his earliest childhood drawings through recurring themes inspired by the people, places and objects that populate his world. The third generation in a renowned family of artists, Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946) has blazed his own path. The exhibition incorporates paintings, works on paper, illustrations and two recent sculptural works.
Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, the exhibition offers a sense of the artist’s development over 60 years, from portraits made during his time in New York to landscapes of the worlds he inhabits in Chadds Ford and Maine. Wyeth’s family context is explored with works including his childhood drawings and earliest portraits—created in his father’s and grandfather’s studios, where he worked under the tutelage of his aunt Carolyn. Thematically arranged, Jamie Wyeth includes portraits of subjects such as John F. Kennedy, Wyeth’s wife, Phyllis, and Rudolf Nureyev, shown alongside a selection of preparatory drawings and studies that offer a window into the artist’s immersive approach to portraiture.
The exhibition will also feature landscapes of the worlds he inhabits in the Brandywine Valley and Maine—especially the islands of Tenants Harbor and Monhegan—still lifes of pumpkins (a fascination from his youth) and the many animals and birds that are part of his family and surroundings. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and accompanied by an extensively illustrated catalogue, the exhibition will travel to two additional venues.
At the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the exhibition is sponsored by Natalie and Herb Kohler on behalf of Kohler Co., and by David and Lisa Spartin.
The national tour is sponsored by Bank of America.
©Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Roasted Chestnuts (1956), tempera on panel. Gift of Harry G. Haskell, 1971
©Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), Roasted Chestnuts Study, Full Figure (1956), pencil on paper. Private Collection
Andrew Wyeth: Lines of Thought
on view through March 15
Over his remarkable seven-decade career, Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) created thousands of drawings in pencil and watercolor, a body of work that he rarely exhibited. The drawings in this exhibition provide a fascinating glimpse into his creative process. They were created by Wyeth in preparation for four paintings—Faraway (1952), Corner of the Woods (1954), Roasted Chestnuts (1956), and Garret Room (1962). Each drawing is part of the process Wyeth used to work out his vision for his paintings. Many were sketched outdoors, and reveal Wyeth’s immediate response to figures or objects in a composition. The exhibition includes 23 sketches and three paintings.
Wyeth rendered his subjects in pencil drawings made with quick, gestural jabbing marks, contour lines, a range of shaded tones and dotted and scribbled lines. In the watercolor studies he wielded the brush freely to create flowing washes and dry, ragged swaths, and drew fine pen-like lines with the tip.
As these sketches show, Wyeth focused in with raw energy on aspects of the composition—isolating each element, whether a human figure or a tree—and distilling its essence. The drawings—made quickly in comparison to the time-intensive medium of tempera paintings in which he excelled—allowed him an important degree of spontaneity. As the artist said, “My struggle is to preserve that abstract flash—like something you caught out of the corner of your eye... that momentary off-balance quality in the very base of the thing.”