Art: Wyeth's Cold Comfort

The exhibition of 300 paintings and drawings by Andrew Wyeth that opened last week at New York's Metropolitan Museum is bound to be successful. That, in the Met's eyes, means so jammed with people that the art will be virtually invisible. At 59, Wyeth is the most popular, perhaps the only popular "serious" artist in America. For the past 20 years his elaborately finished tempera paintings of the landscapes and neighbors around his winter farm in Pennsylvania and his summer house in Maine have become indistinguishable, for an enormous public, from a dream of vanished moral rectitude. Every split clapboard reveals...

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