United States • 1917−2009
Andrew Wyeth (eng. Andrew Newell Wyeth, July 12, 1917, Chedds-Ford, Pennsylvania, USA - January 16, 2009, Chedds-Ford) is an American artist who throughout his long life has not changed neither his hometown, nor once and for all the chosen style - realism.

Features of the artist Andrew Wyeth: preferred watercolor and tempera to oil; he found poetry, philosophy and magic, which is generously flavored with his realism, in the faces of neighbors, friends, and landscapes opening from the window.

Famous paintings by Andrew Wyeth: "Christina's World", "Wind from the sea"series Helga.

Andrew Wyeth - one of the most adorable and, at the same time, one of the most underrated American artists of the XX century. Wyeth wrote in a realistic manner - in the era of modernism, it was suicidal courage. Critics blamed him for lack of imagination, for indulging the tastes of housewives, for discrediting artistic realism.

Wyatt has never been a fashionable artist: at times, buying his paintings, the curators of museums tried to do it without too much noise - so as not to be reputed to be retrograde and preserve their reputation. As for the housewives, they reciprocated Wyatt. His exhibitions were held with the same sold-out. "The public loves Wyatt, - wrote in the 63rd year in one New York newspaper, - because his heroes have noses where they are supposed to be. ”

Andrew Wyeth was born in 1917 in the tiny town of Chedds Ford in Pennsylvania. His father - Newell Wyeth - was a famous illustrator. So much known that celebrities such as Scott Fitzgerald and Mary Pickford came to his village house.

Newell mainly specialized in children's books. And everyday life on Wyatt’s estate also resembled a fairy tale: the house was packed full of pirate chests, knightly plumes, Indian tomahawks and other props that Newell needed to work. An ordinary celebration of Halloween in Wyatt’s house could compete with medium-sized theatrical production. Every Christmas night, Newell Wyeth, regardless of the probability of domestic injuries, climbed onto the roof in a Santa suit and entered his own house through the chimney. He did everything to awaken the imagination and creativity in his children.

However, not only in their own - Newell had dozens of students. The surroundings were thickly lined with easels. Nearby barns, garages and all that was possible were converted into art workshops. Had you been in the 20s of the last century in Chedds-Ford, you would not have gone a hundred steps without stumbling over some soiled young talent.

Not surprisingly, Andrew started drawing almost before he uttered the first word. Andrew Wyeth has always named his father among his teachers first. However, he quickly realized that creatively he and Newell were not on the way.

Reality attracted Andrew Wyeth stronger than book fantasies. However, the “magical” childhood was not in vain: in the simple northern landscape, in the plain weathered faces of the neighbors, in the web of frosty weeds, he could see something mysterious, irrational and often frightening.

When Andrew was 28, his father's car collided at a railroad crossing with a freight train. Since then, in his canvases almost always guessed the feeling of loss. The invisible has become a frequent guest on them, but no less fascinating the heroine is Death.

It would not be a big exaggeration to say that Wyeth lived as a recluse. He did not react to the attacks of critics, he shunned secular fuss, and seemed not to notice that the twentieth century was roaring and raging outside. Once, Wyatt was reproached that his models did not wear wristwatches - that's how great, according to the metropolitan art historians, he was late for the train.

Andrew Wyeth cherished such a solitary and measured way of life. He rarely left Chedds Ford (making exceptions for his summer home on the ocean coast of Maine). He painted only these two places. "From the journey a person returns not by - he said. - I don’t go anywhere because I’m afraid of losing something important - perhaps naivety. ”

For the most part, Andrew Wyeth communicated with civilization through his wife - Betsy james. Betsy was well aware of his work and, moreover, possessed remarkable organizational skills. In an interview, she compared herself to a director who had the best actor in the world at her disposal. Betsy gave the paintings names, she tirelessly communicated with gallery owners and collectors, compiled catalogs - in short, she led the business with an energetic and firm hand. The youngest son of the artist - Jamie Wyeth, also an artist - he joked that he once found in his mother's desk drawer a photograph of his father with an inventory number on his forehead.

Of course, such an introvert as Wyeth jealously guarded the borders of his world even from his wife. Sometimes - especially from her.

In 1986, Wyeth unveiled a series of paintings under the name Helga. In the early seventies, he met Helga Testorf, who lived next door to his summer home in Cushing. Since Helga was his constant model. Only a couple of close friends knew about the relationship (definitely beyond professional). When journalists, who were accustomed to Betsy traditionally speaking on behalf of Wyatt, asked her what it all meant, she succinctly answered: "Love." She was annoyed: 15 years of life, almost 250 paintings, and all this is beyond her control. “What was she waiting for? So I wrote all my life old boats? - Wyeth said later. - No, I know, I am a snake in oats ... I am a master of dodges ... ".

No matter how masterfully Wyeth maneuvered, national love and the recognition of critics still overtook him. When the wave of craze for abstractionism subsided, it became clear that housewives had excellent taste, that the old boats also had something to say, that Andrew Wyeth was one of the most prominent and important artists in human history. In 2007, he received from the hands of President Bush, Jr. National Medal - America's highest award in the arts.

In 2009, Andrew Wyeth died in a dream at the age of 91 years. Of course, in his home in Chedds Ford. "When I die, do not worry about me, - he said shortly before his death, - I don't think I will attend my funeral. Remember this. I will be somewhere far away, taking a new path that is twice as good as before. ”

Author: Andrey Zimoglyadov
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