Art: Too Much of a Medium-Good Thing

In Washington, Andrew Wyeth's overhyped Helga pictures

WHAT THE HELGA?? was the headline on the New Republic Editor Michael Kinsley's story about last summer's convulsions over Andrew Wyeth. The question stands. Never in the history of American art had a group of paintings been so fluffily hyped. Rarely in the history of cultural journalism had magazines and newspapers that one might have expected to be fairly hard-nosed about such matters -- TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times and so on across the nation -- made so much of so little.

Like an avalanche of Styrofoam and saccharin, the Great Human Interest Saga of Andrew Wyeth and Helga Testorf,...