Well after several months of procrastination I finally drove the hour and ten minute drive to Chadds Ford to see the what has been called a “once in a lifetime” exhibit containing many of Andrew Wyeth’s finest works, marking the 100th anniversary of his birth. Well perhaps, with the exception of his most famous piece, “Christina’s World”. Apparently the Museum of Modern Art in New York wouldn’t let it out of their sight. Oh well … But you know what? It was one of the greatest exhibits of art I have ever seen!
Alas, for you East Coasters it is now gone. But it will be showing at the Seattle Art Museum in October. So if you are remotely nearby or need an excuse to visit that part of the country, here it is!
I am no expert on painting and drawing, but I continue to visit important exhibits whenever I can and you should too. Why? Because you can learn an awful lot about light, composition and subject matter that can be applied to making better photographs. And this show didn’t disappoint!
Clearly, Wyeth could do it all. He used watercolors and egg tempura, a mixture of dry pigments, eggs and distilled water to create portraits, nudes, landscapes, farm scenes, intimate aspects of architecture and interiors, realism and even fantasy and studies containing psychological twists. His intense and profound work was drawn from the landscape and people nearby the homes where he lived in Pennsylvania and Maine.
The colors were muted yet to me very natural. The light was right and the composition always compelling. He made everyday subjects and activity incredibly interesting and compelling.
The whole thing made me think of what Edward Weston said, … “Composition is the strongest way of seeing”.
As a nice little benny, the museum happened to be located next to the beautiful Brandywine River, so when I was done with the show I took a little stroll along the toe path and made a few interesting photographs along the way.
I left invigorated and with a renewed desire to see more clearly and explore more deeply the surroundings, objects, people and everyday activity that surrounds where I live.