Andrew Wyeth's Problematic Legacy

Popular and apparently antimodern, Andrew Wyeth, who died today at 91, was the great problem figure of 20th century American art


Andrew Wyeth in front of his farm in Chadds Ford, Pa.

Andrew Wyeth, who died today at 91 at his home in Chadds Ford, Pa., was the great problem of American modern art. He was a problem first because he so completely refused to be modern in any terms that the art world cared about or could stomach. Long after it was no longer fashionable or even permissible to practice a flinty, granular realism, Wyeth went on making pictures with the kind of brushwork that specified the world in almost molecular detail. That his technical capabilities were so apparent only made it more annoying to some critics that he wouldn't turn his...

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