Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth
Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth
Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth

Frozen Race by Andrew Wyeth

  • The great Andrew Wyeth composed this exceptional watercolor work
  • Capturing the Wyeth family dog, it reveals his modern approach to traditional rural subjects
  • The work is executed in his distinctive Realist style, interlaced with a quiet melancholy
  • One of the most important artists of his generation, Wyeth's works are highly prized
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Item No. 30-9158
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Andrew Wyeth
1917-2009 | American

Frozen Race

Signed "Andrew Wyeth" (upper left)
Watercolor on paper

Andrew Wyeth is among the most highly regarded and recognizable American artists of the 20th century. His Realist paintings capture a distinctive, highly nostalgic vision of American rural life, largely based on his own personal experiences at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The present work, Frozen Race, reveals Wyeth's modern approach to his traditional subjects, marrying his rural subject with his unique Realist style and a quiet melancholy. With its stark palette and quiet tone, it is characteristic of some of Wyeth's most poignant works.

Frozen Race is, like so many of Wyeth's compositions, highly personal. The watercolor captures the Wyeth family dog, Nell Gwyn, running beside the historic Chadds Ford mill that served as the artistʼs longtime home. Andrew and Betsy Wyeth purchased the then-derelict Brintonʼs Mill in 1958, restoring the mill (which dates from 1706), its granary, and millerʼs house as their permanent residence. Isolating one wall and a corner of the historic building, Wyeth focuses on the abstract qualities of the millʼs architecture, as well as the visual contrast between stone, ice, and winter vegetation. The pictureʼs restrained palette echoes the coloration of the artistʼs beloved Brandywine River farm country, one of the most enduring and resonant influences in his body of work.

Born in 1917 in rural Pennsylvania, Andrew Wyeth was the youngest son of the great artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. He received vigorous artistic training from his father beginning at a young age, and enjoyed his first exhibition at just 16 at the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts in Delaware. Watercolor was his preferred medium, though he would later turn to egg tempera, an unusual choice for a modern American painter.

His early works caught the eye of Robert Macbeth, an important art dealer in New York, who organized Wyeth's first solo exhibition in 1937. After just two days, the show sold out, and Wyeth gained significant recognition on the New York art scene. In spite of his popularity, the artist generally remained secluded in his studio, living in Maine and Pennsylvania with his wife and two sons. Still, he remained remarkably popular throughout his lifetime, and today his works are among the most recognizable of 20th-century American art. They can be found in important collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and many others.

This watercolor will be included in Betsy James Wyeth's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

Circa 1969

Paper: 20 1/4" high x 29 1/4" wide
Frame: 33 1/2" high x 42 1/2" wide
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Period: 1919-Present
Origin:America
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