|Elliot Bostwick Davis. David Houston, essay.|
|Pages/Publication Date:||208 / 2014|
Outside of the context of his family—his grandfather N.C. Wyeth, brilliant illustrator and frustrated artist; his father Andrew, producing masterworks of realism in the era of abstract art—Jamie Wyeth remains surprisingly little known. Yet his early exposure to painting, his tutelage under his aunt Carolyn, and his immersion in Andy Warhol's Factory in the 1970s led Jamie into a dialogue with artists past and present, resulting in his elusive, hybrid form of realism. Reproducing some 100 paintings, preparatory works, illustrations, and assemblages that he called "combined mediums," this catalog from a 2014 retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston includes portraits of John F. Kennedy, Rudolph Nureyev, and Andy Warhol.
"[This exhibition] shows Wyeth venturing into the modern era without ever violating the introspective idiom he seemed to command nearly from birth. His portraits of public figures such as JFK, Andy Warhol, and Rudolf Nureyev emphasize their inner lives. His landscape Patriot's Barn could fit almost indistinguishably alongside his father's spare off-season farmscapes, until you notice that it was painted in 2001, a couple of months after the destruction of the World Trade Center: Wyeth captures the impact of the event, registering even at this remove the sense of a country turned upside down, on an empty hillside at the far edge of autumn."—Town & Country