Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life

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9780060171131: Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life

A candid, revealing portrait of the reclusive American artist illuminates Wyeth's character and personality, creative processes, and life events in terms of one or more of his paintings. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Review:

Andrew Wyeth's achievement is unmatched by other modern American realist painters: he produced canvasses that became American icons, deepening our sense of the possibilities of representational painting in an abstract age. This biography, produced by family friend Richard Meryman, who first wrote about Wyeth for Life magazine in 1964, takes in not only Andrew Wyeth's life but three generations of Wyeths: the peerless illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Andrew's father; Andrew Wyeth; and Jamie, Andrew's son and a successful realist painter in his own right. The "Secret Life" of the title refers in part, of course, to the "Helga" paintings, sketches, drawings, and portraits (many of them in the nude) of Wyeth's neighbor, later his companion and assistant, Helga Testorf. The revelation of the "Helga" series gave the married Wyeth's life, at almost 70, a final dose of drama. This new biography, besides delving deeply into Wyeth's personal life, includes long discussions of almost every Wyeth canvas.

About the Author:

Richard Meryman, the son of a painter, worked for twenty-three years as a reporter, correspondent, editor, and staff writer for the original Life magazine. A freelance writer since 1972, he is the author of several books, including Hope: A Loss Survived; Broken Promises, Mended Dreams; and Andrew Wyeth (1968), a major book of the artist's paintings. He first met Wyeth when he wrote an article about him for Life in 1964, and has kept in touch with him ever since.

Meryman and his wife live in New York.

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