Andrew Wyeth is one of the best loved and most widely recognized artists in American history, yet for much of his career he was reviled by the art world’s critical elite. Rethinking Andrew Wyeth reevaluates Wyeth and his place in American art, trying to reconcile these two opposing images of the man and his work.
In addition to surveying the American critical reception of Wyeth’s art over the seven decades of his career, David Cateforis brings together a collection of essays featuring new critical and scholarly responses to the artist. Donald Kuspit’s compelling psycho-philosophical interpretation of Wyeth exemplifies the possibility of new approaches to understanding his work that move beyond the Wyeth “curse,” as do those of the other contributors to this volume—from the close analysis of Wyeth’s technical means offered by Joyce Hill Stoner, to the adventuresome interpretive readings of individual Wyeth paintings advanced by Alexander Nemerov and Randall C. Griffin, the considerations of Wyeth’s critical reception in historical context offered by Wanda M. Corn and Katie Robinson Edwards, and the connections of Wyeth to other canonical artists such as Francine Weiss’s comparison of him to Robert Frost and Patricia Junker’s linkage of Wyeth and Marcel Duchamp.
Rethinking Andrew Wyeth includes an appendix with data from visitor surveys conducted at the Wyeth retrospectives in San Francisco in 1973 and Philadelphia in 2006. Illustrated throughout with both iconic and lesser-known examples of Wyeth’s work, this book will appeal to academic, museum, and popular audiences seeking a deeper understanding and appreciation of Andrew Wyeth’s art through its critical reception and interpretation.
Edited by David Cateforis, with essays by David Cateforis, Wanda M. Corn, Katie Robinson Edwards, Randall C. Griffin, Patricia Junker, Donald Kuspit, Alexander Nemerov, Joyce Hill Stoner, and Francine Weiss.
This volume’s release coincides with an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2014, Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In.
Introduction: Rethinking Andrew Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth in Critical Perspective
Lifting the Curse
Wanda M. Corn
The Messages in Andrew Wyeth's Medium
Joyce Hill Stoner
The Glitter of Night Hauling: Andrew Wyeth in the 1940s
Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World: Normalizing the "Abnormal" Body
Randal C. Griffin
Laymen, Experts, and Midcentury America: Jackson Pollock and Andrew Wyeth
Katie Robinson Edwards
Kindred Spirits: Robert Frost and Andrew Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth, Rebel
Surviving the Conceptual Collapse of Art in the Modern Age of Anxiety: Andrew Wyeth's Place in Twentieth-Century Art
Appendix: Andrew Wyeth Visitor Surveys, 1973 and 2006
David Cateforis is Professor of Art History at the University of Kansas, where he teaches American, modern, and contemporary art. He has lectured and published widely on 20th-century American art and has contributed essays to numerous museum exhibition and collection catalogues; publishers include the Des Moines Art Center, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Spencer Museum of Art, and Wichita Art Museum. He is the author of Willem de Kooning.
"Noteworthy insight into the paintings, career and popularity of one of the most revered artists of the 20th century."—Publishers Weekly
"This collection of critiques seeks to elevate Wyeth’s work and make him 'matter to us in
new ways.' ”—Shelf Life
"A strong step toward a reevaluation of an artist whose complexity still largely eludes us."—Jennifer A. Greenhill Art Journal
"This volume of essays looks at him afresh, exploring his critical reception and offering new interpretations of his work from a range of art-historical and biographical perspectives."—Apollo
"This timely collection of insightful essays contributes to a growing body of new scholarship on this artist of significance. Scholars and critics are rethinking Wyeth—an artist the collectors and public have always loved. This volume pushes that overdue, meaningful reassessment along at just the right moment." —Patricia McDonnell, Director, Wichita Art Museum