Author(s): Nancy K. Anderson
One of Andrew Wyeths most important paintings, Wind from the Sea, a recent gift to the National Gallery of Art, is also the artists first full realization of the window as a recurring subject in his art. Wyeth returned to windows over the next sixty years, producing more than 250 works that explore both the formal and conceptual richness of the subject. Spare, elegant and abstract, these paintings are free of the narrative element inevitably associated with Wyeths better-known figural compositions. In 2014 the Gallery will present an exhibition of a select group of these deceptively realistic works, window paintings that are in truth skilfully manipulated constructions engaged with the visual complexities posed by the transparency, beauty and formal structure of windows. In its exclusive focus on paintings without human subjects, this catalogue will offer a new approach to Wyeths work, being the first time that his non-figural compositions have been published as a group. The authors explore Wyeths fascination with windows their formal structure and metaphorical complexity.
In essays that address links with the poetry of Robert Frost and the paintings of Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and Franz Kline, the authors consider Wyeths statement that he was, in truth, an abstract painter.