|Andrew Wyeth (1917 - 2009), Wind from the Sea, 1947, 18 1/2 x 27 9/16 in.|
Andrew Wyeth's tempera painting Wind from the Sea was a recent gift to the National Gallery of Art, and it's now the centerpiece of an exhibit at the National Gallery through November 30, 2014.
I haven't seen the exhibition, but I have a copy of the catalog, which is called Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In.
The book and the exhibit include some of Wyeth's landmark paintings, such as Spring Fed.
The book is 10 x 11 inches, and clocks in at 192 pages. It includes many paintings that I hadn't seen before, such as Quaker.
It also includes a lot of quicker sketches and studies in watercolor that haven't been exhibited or reproduced before. This collection excludes the figure, making it quite different from Wyeth's other themed show on his Helga works.
The text is what you would expect from two museum curators. They place his work in the context of his times, and make authoritative allusions to contemporaries like Charles Sheeler and Edward Hopper. But they also serve up a lot of of marshmallowy sentences, such as: "Like the windows that so often framed them, the figures that populate the worlds of their paintings were permeable thresholds where self and other converged and diverged."
To get into Wyeth's head, I'd recommend Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait, which is made up of of Wyeth's own quizzical reflections about life and art, recorded over many years by his friend Richard Meryman.
Fortunately the second half of this new book reproduces all of the 60 paintings that are in the show, and they're reproduced full page and without verbal adornment.