CHADDS FORD, PA.-
This summer, the Brandywine River Museum
presents works by Andrew Wyeth spanning seven decades, including several that are rarely on public view and one that has never been seen in public. This current installation will remain on view through September 19, 2011.
Wyeth's technical mastery and intense focus on people and places he knew well is obvious in superb watercolors and egg tempera paintings that show his deep feeling for the visual and tactile world and his life-long endeavor to recreate his experiences through art.
Visitors to the gallery will see two early works by Wyeth painted in his 20s: Apples on a Bough, a study for Before Picking (1942), and Blackberry Branch, a study for Blackberry Picker (1943). Both are dry brush watercolors on paper. Wyeth's feelings for his wife, Betsy, is clear in A Feather in Her Cap (1987), a portrait of Betsy at their millhouse in Chadds Ford, and in May Basket (1984) a tempera Andrew painted of his wife's May Day gift to him.
Paintings of Wyeth's neighbors, Karl and Anna Kuerner, and their farm are seen throughout the gallery. The German (1975) relates to Karl, while Night Cap (1978) captures the enigmatic Anna. An untitled work from 1987, never before exhibited, shows the Kuermer farmhouse against a brilliant blue sky. Above Archie's (1961), last shown in 1999, depicts Andrew's Chadds Ford friend, Adam Johnson. Night Shadow (1979) captures another neighbor, a sleeping Helga Testorf.
Ten watercolors in the first section of the gallery (Open Shutter (1974), Foot Bridge (1986) and several untitled works) show the deftness of Wyeth's style. Weathervane (1980), on loan for the summer, is on view at the Brandywine River Museum for the first time.
Swept Away (2006), a work that beautifully captures the swiftness of flowing water, confirms that Wyeth, who died in 2009 at the age of 91, had lost none of his talent or skill in his later years. Other works which explore the theme of water show the artist's exuberant techniques in dry brush, scratching and the use of white gouache.
Well-known works are also on view, including the famous Snow Hill (1989), Roasted Chestnuts (1956), Spring Fed (1967), Night Sleeper (1979), Anna Christina (1967), James Loper (1952), Adam (1963) and others.