5 de julho de 2011

Andrew Wyeth - Christina's World

                                                         Christina's World - 1948
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - New York - USA

Just as life appereared to be in Cushing, Maine, where most of Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) paintings were set, his style remained steady for more than fifty years. The son of Newell Convers Wyeth, a famous American illustrator and artist, Andrew Wyeth was the youngest of five children who were all home-schooled and taught art by their father. The house in the far distance of Christina’s World was the location of Wyeth’s studio for almost three decades. The austerity of its stark rooms and somber exterior captured in many of his paintings and lithographs. As Wyeth explained:

“I happen to paint things that reflect the basic truths of life: sky, earth, friends.”

In Wyeth’s painting, Christina Olson, a reclusive young friend of Wyeth and his wife, who had been crippled in childhood with polio, feebly raises herself on skeletal arms and gazes at her home in the distance. Her disability is not obvious from the painting, but her body subtle contortions create a disquieting impression. Initially, the painting may seem to represent a pastoral ideal, but it harbors a pervasive undercurrent of loneliness, longing, and unease. Art historian Sir David Piper said of the painting:

“It seems to express both the tragedy and the joy of life with such a vivid poignancy that the painting becomes a universal symbol of the human condition”.

When Olson died in 1969, she had lived her life in the house Wyeth painted in the distance. Neighbors say she never knew Wyeth’s image of her had become one of the most well-known and haunting paintings in the American art history. The house depicted in the painting is known as the Olson House, and is located in Cushing, Maine, USA. It is open to the public as a part of the Farnsworth Museum complex; it is a National History Landmark and has been restored to match its appearance in the painting. In the painting, Wyeth separated the house from its barn and changed the lay of the land. This tempera work, done in a realistic style, is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as a part of their permanent collection.
Source: Wikipedia, Ann Finel Honigman, net

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