Christies holds Wyeth online sale

Christie’s announces Wyeth’s World,  an online private selling exhibition featuring a selection of pictures by Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009). An icon of American art, Wyeth famously remained true to his realist approach in an era when abstract art reigned. From works on paper under $100,000 to multi-million-dollar temperas, the works featured within this exhibition provide a glimpse into the intriguing world that inspired Wyeth’s art. The virtual gallery experience will run through July 17.

Works in this exhibition span Wyeth’s career and his experience in small-town communities in Maine and Pennsylvania. Transforming visions of these neighborhoods via unique perspectives and poignant atmosphere, Wyeth’s world embodied a distinct timelessness and quiet dignity that was uniquely his own.

Vice President, Specialist of American Art Tylee Abbott said:

Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) Sparks, tempera on gessoed panel 44 x 47 ¾ in. Painted in 2001.

“Christies is thrilled to host this innovative virtual exhibition dedicated to the art of Andrew Wyeth. Personally, having been born and raised in Pennsylvania’s ‘Wyeth country,’ I’m always amazed by the ubiquity of his artwork. It speaks to Wyeth’s genius as an artist, both in his practice and his purpose, that his unique interpretation of everyday subjects — from our little corner of the world — is personally poignant to an incredibly broad and diverse audience. The works featured here provide a taste of this little iconic artist’s timeless poetry.”

Throughout his career, Andrew Wyeth frequently found subject matter for his emotive paintings in the landscape and community of hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. In the tempera Ring Road of 1985, Wyeth depicts the ruins of Mother Archie’s Church, once a vibrant gathering place for local African American families, many of whom were Wyeth’s friends. Wyeth painted the church several times starting in the 1930s. In Ring Road, the stillness of the snow-covered scene, only interrupted by the remains of the building and a yellow warning sign, underscores the fragility of life and the changing times, as seen through Wyeth’s eyes.

The exceptional large-scale tempera Sparks, painted in 2001, depicts the grand hearth of Wyeth’s Chadds Ford area farmhouse and provides a rare glimpse into intimate details of the artist’s daily life as a poignant personal reflection.

In addition to his focus on Pennsylvania subjects, throughout his long career, Wyeth would also find inspiration in his everyday surroundings in Maine, where his family spent summers. Maine was importantly where Wyeth met his wife Betsy, who became a key supporter of his career, and where she introduced him to Anna Christina Olson, the subject of Christina’s World (1948, The Museum of Modern Art, New York), among the most recognizable artworks in the world.

In his early Maine watercolors, Wyeth followed in the footsteps of nineteenth-century American painter Winslow Homer to focus on the relationship between man and the sea along the coast of Maine. In works such as The Lobster Man, commissioned as a potential Maxwell House Coffee advertisement in the 1940s, Wyeth skillfully utilizes watercolor washes in blue and green to capture the atmosphere of a still morning on the ocean. The model was the artist’s friend, Forrest Wall, creating a more personal and therefore meaningful scene.

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