Andrew Wyeth: The Greatest 20th Century American Painter

Watched the excellent, relatively new PBS American Masters documentary last evening about this remarkable artist. Wyeth’s work was completely original and paid close attention to Nature and people in the context of Nature. He went his own way after being raised to be a painter like his father, the illustrator, N.C. Wyeth. Andrew was commercially successful on his own terms; as he said “I painted my own life.”

That commerciality was heavily criticized by critics who had no depth to appreciate his marvellous and mystical symbolism. Wyeth makes special use of time and memory, which made his work considerably accessible to his audience and fans. Everybody sees and imagines their own interpretations and connections to classics such as “Christina’s World” and the Helga Pictures.

This documentary reviews the key events and works of Wyeth’s life, including many interviews with him and those who knew him well, including his sons. In sensitive, evocative detail, it outlines the themes of his work and what his views of the world were. Highly recommended as an introduction to an American legend, icon, and great artist.

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