Moved by data, not doctrine.
Had Wyeth's career begun 50 years earlier, he would be hailed both critically and popularly as an American Master. However, he only became well-known after the Second World War, when he was criticized for, in effect, evading contemporary reality, which is another way of saying, choosing to disregard ugliness and banality. Wyeth had the sensibility to realize that there was less and less about contemporary reality worth committing to canvas, and so made career-defining choice. It's difficult to imagine Wyeth having succesfully painted tract houses, freeway overpasses, and strip malls.His weakest paintings are a little cartoonish and melodramatic; his best are deeply affecting and, in their own way, at times strikingly modern (some of the Helga paintings, for example). His work remains much more interesting and evocative than the vast pile of shlock that gets churned out every year, which is one reason why critics were often rather contemptuous of him. Resentment.
That painting has always made me think of Dorothy just home from Oz.
Post a Comment