ANDREW WYETH by Richard Meryman


Age Range: 11 & up
Email this review


 In the ``First Impressions'' series, a detailed, perceptive portrait of a contemporary painter who has received both critical admiration and popular acclaim, by a long-time friend who first wrote about Wyeth in the 60's. Meryman's primary focus is Wyeth's boyhood--a choice that, in this case, is appropriate: his lively youth and relationship with his colorful but overwhelming father, N. C. Wyeth, is not only of particular interest to young people but crucial to Andrew's development. N.C., who had hoped for recognition as a painter, was best known as a fine illustrator; he was also a respected teacher. Andrew was lucky to be the last of his five gifted children, thriving in the vibrant family milieu but also benefiting from some benign neglect. His own work is seen here as a rich, creative blend of N.C.'s rigorous instruction and fertile example, and of an artist's compelling need to find his own way. Countering the popular conception of Andrew as a throwback or traditionalist, Meryman points out both the emotional complexity of his subjects and their treatment and the intellectual nature of compositions that, like abstract art, are determined more by form and color than by content. The paintings reproduced are well chosen to represent Wyeth's development and range. A fascinating, entertaining, and beautiful book. Excellent color reproductions with full citations; b&w photos; index. (Biography. 11+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8109-3956-8
Page count: 92pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991