Andrew World Part 1
Andrew Wyeth is simultaneously one of the most popular and most attacked artists in American art. Because of his retreat, he was like a thorn in the eye of a generation of creators leading a vibrant social life.
Draw what you want to see
Over time, Wyatt’s accurate depiction of rough rural reality has turned into a kind of national symbol, and at the same time has generated endless debate on what contemporary art is.
Wyeth portrayed Puritan America severely and without embellishment, although not without sentimentality: these are gray plains, eerie frame houses, dried up fields, abandoned beaches, vultures and stone-carved faces of the “new English”.
Being a peculiar version of the “Rorschach test” for the population of the country for most of the 20th century, Wyeth provoked an even more violent split in society than even Andy Warhol, who approached art from a completely different perspective: Andrew was the quintessence of the whole “rural”, and Andy – “urban.”
Universal popularity, as always in such cases, played a cruel joke with Wyatt: since he defended the values and ideals of the middle class, rejected by modernists, his work caused a split not only in the world of art, but also in society – according to class, geographical and educational grounds . In 1977, an art historian in an interview with Art News magazine on the question of the most overrated and underrated artists of the century, identified Wyeth in both categories.
Critics have largely stigmatized Wyeth’s work, claiming that the artist dumped realism in the mud. His exhibitions were curtailed and thwarted, abuse about his work did not stop for a year. Nevertheless, as one of the journalists wrote in 1963, “against the backdrop of modern art, Wyeth looks like a dumb radical, but for the people he writes, these weathered barracks and bare trees from its uncomplicated landscapes are life itself.”
John Updike wrote about the same thing 25 years later: “In the heyday of abstract expressionism, all this squabble was politically motivated; but the resistance that Wyatt has shown so far is becoming more curious in a world where photorealists like Richard Estes and Philip Perlstein are welcomed with open arms, not to mention the commercial art of Thibault, Warhol and Hopper. ”